5 Career-Crushing Things Employees Say

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2016-04-21 Email

The majority of employees queried said they've heard a colleague say something that had a catastrophic impact on their career, according to a recent survey from VitalSmarts. In fact, many of the professionals said they have made a comment that cost them a pay increase, promotion or even their job. As part of the research, VitalSmarts has come up with a list of what we'll describe as "five career-crushing ways to express yourself," and we've adapted that survey-supported list here. The conversations and exchanges that require some degree of caution include: offering feedback to a co-worker; discussing race, politics, religion or other sensitive topics; and even written communications conducted via email. "While there are occasions when people's words paint a clear picture of their incompetence or unacceptable moral judgment, these instances are the exception to the rule," said Joseph Grenny, co-founder of VitalSmarts and co-author of the book Crucial Conversations. "Often, people speak up about issues they see as important to the business, only to be punished for their honesty. … Instead of punishing employees' candor, leaders need to build the kind of culture where anyone can safely speak up to anyone else, regardless of power or position. And in those times when they may step out of line, there should be a plan that allows them to recover and get back on track." Approximately 780 employees took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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