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How Using the Word 'I' at Work Could Cost You Your Next Raise

GOBankingRates Logo By Gabrielle Olya of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 11: When you find yourself in a conflict with a colleague or superior at work, it’s important to express yourself clearly and in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re attacking the other person. Speaking in a way that’s confrontational can provoke hostility and defensiveness — and in a worst-case scenario, could cost you your next raise or even your job.
Many business and career experts have long toted the use of “I” statements to bring up something that’s bothering you in a way that makes it clear you’re expressing your own feelings and experiences rather than critiquing the actions of someone else. For example, an “I” statement would be, “I feel that my concerns are not being heard,” which comes off as less confrontational than, “You’re not really listening to me.” But sometimes, “I” statements might not be the best way to communicate in a work setting. Here’s why you should — and also shouldn’t — start your next work conversation with “I” if you want to get a raise at your job.

An Eye for an I

When you find yourself in a conflict with a colleague or superior at work, it’s important to express yourself clearly and in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re attacking the other person. Speaking in a way that’s confrontational can provoke hostility and defensiveness — and in a worst-case scenario, could cost you your next raise or even your job.

Many business and career experts have long toted the use of “I” statements to bring up something that’s bothering you in a way that makes it clear you’re expressing your own feelings and experiences rather than critiquing the actions of someone else. For example, an “I” statement would be, “I feel that my concerns are not being heard,” which comes off as less confrontational than, “You’re not really listening to me.” But sometimes, “I” statements might not be the best way to communicate in a work setting. Here’s why you should — and also shouldn’t — start your next work conversation with “I” if you want to get a raise at your job.

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