One of the best ways to be in control in a professional environment is to have situational awareness. Know what kind of people you are surrounded by, then act and speak accordingly.

The way you speak may fluctuate depending on whether you’re with friends or in the corporate world. However, your language compromises your credibility no matter what the social circle.

Here are the top three reasons bad language can hurt your success.

Text Language

Why it’s bad: Slang vocabulary and abbreviations can make you look silly. Even worse, it could alienate clients or coworkers who are unfamiliar with the phrase. Your professional emails and texts represent not only you, but your entire company.

How to improve: Whether it’s an email or just a quick text, always be sure to use proper English and grammar. This will make you come off as more intelligent and more professional, making your reader respect you more.

Additionally, when you are working, stay away from phrases like “LOL”. You don’t have to sound pompous, just keep it on a professional level.

Poor Body Language

Why it’s bad: Your non-verbal cues and gestures can have a significant impact on your success. Standing or sitting with your shoulders slumped or arms crossed can give others the impression of insecurity, laziness and general disinterest.

How to improve: To be perceived as confident, you must stand tall, straight and make eye contact. This gives the outward appearance of credibility, strength and vitality. At first, improving your posture may require some effort, but it will come naturally in time.

Offensive Language                                  

Why it’s bad: Most employers view someone who regularly uses offensive language as impulsive. Therefore, they are less likely to be promoted to a leadership role. In extreme cases, your foul mouth may hinder your ability to remain employed. The higher you move up on the corporate ladder, the more that is expected of you as a professional. It is vital that you can hold your tongue and keep your cool.

How to improve: Watch your language both in and outside of the office.

At Connell Communications we have a Swear Jar. For every “bad word” we put 25 cents in the jar and the money then goes back into the company. At first, we had plenty of cash for daily pizza parties – but over time, our staff has adapted a cleaner, friendlier work environment. LOL. (Oh!)

Leadership roles require someone who has the ability to handle a tough situation with ease. It is vital to always be aware of the boundaries between your work and social life and to never let your guard down in a professional situation.

Do you have any other tips on how to promote more positive language?

See you at the Point of Influence,

Connell Communications