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Professional Language for Millennials 101

As Millennials, we tend to sugarcoat things A LOT LESS than our previous generations, which has landed us in awkward situations, if not always problems. Here's a guide to being brutally honest even using PROFESSIONAL language.

We’ve all been there. Your boss is unreasonable, your coworker doesn’t understand boundaries, or you’ve just had enough of the mail trail that clearly DOES NOT concern you.

There are those days you give your best and those when you can’t get yourself to do the bare minimum. And to think we used to have a full-blown routine before we left for work and ANOTHER plan for after work? Those were the days.

While the pandemic has affected us mentally more than physically, it has become most important to set and maintain boundaries now than ever before.

Here’s a list of fun yet functional ways to express yourself at work – online or offline.

1. When you don’t want to “stick around for a few minutes after the meeting”

I can’t right after this meeting. I’m actually tied up with something else.

2. How to professionally say, “I don’t think you understand what’s going on.”

Moving forward, I want to make sure we are aligned.

3. How to professionally say, “You are overcomplicating this.”

Being mindful of timelines, let’s try to concentrate on the initial scope of this assignment.

4. How to professionally say, “That meeting sounds like a waste of my time.”

I am unable to add value to this meeting, but I will be happy to review the minutes.

5. How to professionally say, “I told you so.”

As per my prediction, this outcome does not come as a surprise.

6. How to professionally say, “Can you do your job and respond to my emails?”

With deadlines approaching, it is imperative that I receive this information in order to proceed.

7. How to professionally say, “You are not my boss.”

I can look at prioritising this after my assigned responsibilities. However, I cannot commit to a timeline as my workload is dictated by [insert name].

8. How to professionally say, “That sounds like a You problem?”

I believe that this falls under your scope of responsibilities. But I would be happy to assist where it makes sense.

9. How to professionally say, “Why didn’t you ask me for this sooner?”

Given the tight turnaround, it would’ve been beneficial to have been looped in on this sooner.

10. How to professionally say, “I already told you this.”

As indicated prior, …

11. How to professionally say, “Stop emailing me so often.”

To ensure that information does not get lost, let’s reduce the frequency of communication so that updates are only provided once more details have been established.

12. How to professionally say, “That sounds like a horrible idea.”

Are we confident that this is the best solution, or are we still exploring alternatives?

13. How to professionally say, “Can you answer all the questions I asked and not just pick and choose one?”

Are you able to provide some clarity around the other questions previously asked?

14. How to professionally say, “Did you even read my email?”

Reattaching my email to provide further clarity.

15. How to professionally say, “I’ll update you when I have more information. Stop bothering me.”

You have not heard from me because further information is unavailable right now. Once I have an update, I will definitely loop you in.

16. How to professionally say, “I don’t want to talk to you right now.”

I am currently tied up with something but I will connect with you once I am free.

17. How to professionally say, “Do your job.”

I understand that you are the appropriate person to contact regarding this. But, if there is someone better equipped for this, please let me know.

18. How to professionally say, “That’s not my job.”

This falls outside of my responsibilities, but I would be happy to connect you with someone who can help.

19. How to professionally say, “I’ve told you this multiple times.”

There seems to be a disconnect here as this information has already been provided.

20. How to professionally say, “Answer my emails.”

If there is a better way to contact you, please let me know, as I was hoping to have this resolved as soon as possible.

21. How to professionally say, “This is not my problem.”

I recommend directing this to [name] as they have the proper expertise to assist you.

22. How to professionally say, “If you would’ve read the whole email, you’d know the answer to this.”

I have included my initial email below that contains all of the details you are looking for.

23. How to professionally say, “Stop CCing everyone.”

To optimise communication, perhaps we can target these emails to a more focused group.

24. How to professionally say, “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”

Can you help me understand better what exactly it is that you require on my end?

25. How to professionally say, “Please hurry up and get this done.”

It is crucial that we have this completed in order to meet our targeted deadlines which are quickly approaching.

26. How to professionally say, “Stay in your own lane.”

Thank you for your input. I’ll keep that in mind as I move forward with decisions that fall within my responsibility.

27. How to professionally say, “Stop assigning me so many tasks if you need to get any of them done.”

As my workload is quite heavy, can you help me reprioritise in order to accommodate this new task?

28. How to professionally say, “Stop bombarding me with messages.”

To ensure that information does not get missed, could you condense your communications into a single email wherever possible?

29. How to professionally say, “I’m not doing your job for you.”

I do not have the capacity to take this on in addition to my own workload, but I’m happy to support where it makes sense.

30. How to professionally say, “I’m not working late to deal with this.”

My workday concludes at 5, but I would be happy to prioritise this first thing tomorrow.

31. How to professionally say, “Stop micromanaging.”

I am confident in my ability to complete this project and will be sure to reach out if OR when I need your support.

32. How to professionally say, “We don’t need to have a meeting about this.”

Being respectful of everyone’s time, let’s discuss this through email until we have a more defined agenda.

33. How to professionally say, “Did you just take credit for my work?”

It is great to see my ideas being exposed to a wider audience and I would have appreciated the opportunity to have been included in the delivery.

34. How to professionally say, “Google that yourself.”

The internet is a great resource for these types of questions, and I am available to clarify elements that you are not able to find online.

35. How to professionally say, “What you’re saying does NOT make sense.”

We seem to have different views on this. Can you elaborate further on your thought process here?

We know these tips will not encourage everyone to understand boundaries and work efficiently, but we assure you they will make your day much less frustrating and help you express yourself without coming across as rude.

Do you have any more of these tips? Comment below and help your fellow millennials.

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