really great things to say at workConsulting is a tough business. Sometimes I feel weak, overwhelmed, stressed, upset, annoyed, or just plain exhausted. Sometimes I’m okay and notice that others are stressed.

Here are some really great things to say at work on both sides of the aisle.

  1. I know you don’t have enough time. How can I help?
  2. You seem preoccupied. Is there something you need?
  3. Life seems crazy for you at home. Is there anything I can do?
  4. I like your outfit. Did you put that together? You look great.
  5. Need to talk about something?
  6. I don’t feel like a priority in your life.
  7. We could probably earn more money if we talked openly about how much we make. I’ll go first.
  8. Not this again. Good grief. Okay, we’ll get through it. I’ve got your back.
  9. I’m working on a neat project. I could use some help. Would you like to learn more?
  10. I’m done with email. Let’s meet.
  11. I can’t keep up with all the changes around here and it’s frustrating. Can we talk about it?
  12. My schedule is a mess. I’m overcommitted. I’m sorry.
  13. I don’t know what success looks like. What does it look like to you?
  14. I’m willing to consider a new path. Tell me your ideas.
  15. I thought we would be working [slower/faster]. I’m sorry. I’ll readjust.
  16. Let’s get a snack.
  17. I feel like we’ve made these mistakes before. Can we stop and talk about what we did last time before we start again?

I’ve said all of those things in the last few weeks. I’m trying to be more unguarded at work, which means that sometimes I sound like a hippie. Ugh. The worst.

But what’s the alternative? Alienation? Being Claire Underwood?

I’m not a robot, and neither are you. Let’s be a little vulnerable at work.


  1. I hate to say it but it seems to be a lot harder for people to be accepting of men who are emotionally unguarded. I’ve tried. It seems to be easier for people to accept my unguarded honesty when I’m critiquing something else rather than when I’m critiquing myself! Maybe they just expect men to be stoic, or some similar medieval archetype!

    Ah well. I’ll just continue to be as much me as I can be (and as much me as people can stand!)

    Love your blog.

    • I think there’s definitely a balance about being you versus being accessible & aware of the local systems at work. Maybe you just haven’t found the right tribe. Keep looking. Good luck.

  2. 18) Let me make a coffee for you

    19) I know of this email technique which landed me 15 meetings in 4 days. Come, I will show you.

    20) I have a couple of edgy Powerpoint templates. Take them from me.

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