Ever get angry at work and think about how good it would feel to just tell someone off? Don’t do it. Going into a rage is one of the most common ways to derail your career with words.

Many of us have gotten into hot water at one time or another at work for something we’ve said. And even if you haven’t, most people at least know someone who has committed career suicide by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Those are the findings from Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, authors of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations. According to their research, 83 per cent of people say that have witnessed their colleagues say something that has had catastrophic results on their careers, reputations and businesses. A further 69 per cent admit to making the disastrous comment themselves.

The most common way to tank your career by speaking out? Offering too much feedback where it’s not appreciated. Apparently speaking truth to power isn’t a virtue in all organizations.

The top five one-sentence career killers

1. Suicide by Feedback (23 per cent): You thought others could handle the truth—but they didn’t.

2. Gossiping (21 per cent): Talking about someone or something in confidence with a colleague only to have the controversial remarks come out.

3. Inappropriate topics (20 per cent). Opening up about race, sex, politics or religion and having others distort it, misconstrue it, take it wrong, and use it against you later.

4. Speaking out when upset (20 per cent). Losing your temper and using profanity or obscenities to express your anger.

5. “Reply All” blunders (10 per cent). Accidentally sharing something harmful with the wrong audience via technology (email, text, virtual meeting tools, etc).



The team at CrucialSkills.com have prepared this infographic detailing the most common ways people verbally wreck their own careers, the most frequent consequences for speaking out of turn, and how to fix common verbal gaffes.

Source: Pink Slips of the Tongue: VitalSmarts Study Reveals the Top Five One-Sentence Career Killers



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