30 Smart Phrases You Should Definitely Use At Work

Forget buzzwords and useless phrases that are often perceived as red flags at work. The best way to communicate with your team, investors and customers is to say...

Photo: Jonha Revesencio, business strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Jonha Revesencio, business strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo

Forget buzzwords and useless phrases that are often perceived as red flags at work. The best way to communicate with your team, investors and customers is to say the right things.

Here are a few phrases you should work into your professional vocabulary to improve communication and position yourself for success.


  1. “Do you need help with that?”
 You should always look for team members who are struggling and offer help when you can.

  2. “It’s great for the team.”
 This terminology demonstrates the priority you place on the team over your own interests.

  3. “Let me take a look at my calendar.”
 When asked to take on a new task or participate in an event, always buy time by offering to check your calendar and reply later.

  4. “I was wrong.”
 When you’re wrong, it’s important to be big enough to admit it.

  5. “You were right.”
 When someone is right, be sure to give them full credit.

  6. “I would like to thank…”
 Look for ways to show public appreciation to the people who help you achieve your company goals.

  7. “I would be happy to.”
 Whether a request for help comes from your co-founder or team member, always try to enthusiastically pitch in when time permits.

  8. “I’m busy, but I can make time.”
 When a team member asks if you’re busy, this response can show that you’re working hard, but you will always make time, when applicable.

  9. “I’m sorry, but I’m swamped right now.” 
There are times when you simply must decline an invitation or request. This phrase can help you say “no” without offending someone.

  10. “This project is keeping me busy, but the results will be well worth it.”
 Even if you only say this phrase to yourself, it serves as a reminder that when you’re working hard, you’re likely to reap the benefits of your effort.

  11. “Could I ask your opinion?”
 People are sincerely flattered when you ask for advice, even if they’re busy.

  12. “I’m not sure I can make that a priority right now.” 
This phrase replaces the much more offensive, “That isn’t my responsibility” and is a great response for those instances when you’re asked to spend time on something outside of your core role.

  13. “I apologize.”
 If you do make a mistake, it’s important to ask for forgiveness as soon as possible.

  14. “I’m following up…”
 When you contact someone, your responsibility doesn’t end there. Set reminders to follow up if a certain amount of time passes with no response.

  15. “Would you please…?”
 You should always add the word “please” to any request (it’s good manners).

  16. “I assure you I will do everything I can.”

 Whether you’re dealing with an unhappy customer or a worried investor, this phrase can easily defuse a situation.

  17. “We need additional information.”

 Instead of rejecting an employee proposal outright, politely ask for more details to be provided.

  18. “What can we learn from this experience?”
 No matter what happens, it can be turned into a learning experience.

  19. “Let me get back to you on that.”
 This phrase buys time so you can learn more information.

  20. “Let’s work together to find a solution.”
 This phrase emphasizes teamwork and accountability.


“How can we work together toward a resolution?” 
Instead of hashing a situation out for hours, this question can help you guide the conversation in a more productive direction.

  22. “Let’s touch base.” 
In recent years, this has become a popular way of saying, “Let’s talk.”

  23. “We need to find a scalable solution.”
 Scalability is essential in business today and by working the word into conversation, you’ll show that you’re aware of its importance.

  24. “How can we improve our processes to avoid this issue in the future?” 

This is a much more productive way to address problems than finger-pointing.

  25. “Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
 Instead of saying, “Let’s get to work,” terms like “roll up our sleeves” present a visual that promotes work ethic and collaboration.

  26. “We should take a proactive approach.”
 By showing your team that you think proactively, you’ll paint yourself as a professional who always tries to prevent issues.

  27. “Let’s look at what our competitors are doing.”
 This statement shows your interest in strengthening your business and playing a more strategic role in business development.

  28. “Tell me about your background.”
 People tend to be drawn to those who take an interest in them.

  29. “We need to remain true to our core values.”
 This demonstrates that you are remaining actively committed to your company culture and want to work with it in mind.

  30. “I am grateful to work with such an impressive team.”
 Occasionally, make sure you take time to let your employees know you appreciate what they bring to the team.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Jonha Revesencio is a Business Strategist with over 8 years of experience developing digital media strategies for FMCG and tech companies such as IKEA, Dove, RebelMouse, among others. She’s a regular contributor on The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Lifehack and Fast Company. Connect with @JonhaRichman on Twitter.


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