Phrases you should never use on a female colleague
In a work environment where there are male and female employees, the temptation to step on toes via our mode of communication is very high. There have been instances where words spoken innocently can degenerate to full blown issues that may later involve management stepping into the issue to quell whatever tension that must have been created. These words may be innocuous, harmless, but yet not appropriate in a work environment. Every organization has its set rules and regulations. The moment we enter into the work environment or office, the priority should be to stick within those rules and regulation, to avoid falling foul of some of office ethics that have long been established. Females are emotionally sensitive than male, hence not every word can be spoken out rightly to them within the office environment. Some of these words can even be considered as sexual harrassment if not properly handled.
The F- Word
It’s common to hear words like fuck you among colleagues in a work environment, especially when tension is high and tempers have started flaring up. As much as possible, the F-word must never be spoken to a female colleague. It may denote an extremely sexual assault if charges are pressed by the victim. Remember, cursing in the office may get you fired if care is not taken. Swearing repeatedly at a female colleague using the f-word is never advisable. It is important that a worker keeps his emotion in check.
Words of endearment
You can say all sorts of words when you are outside the office, but within the work environment, it is usually not good using words of endearment like: “honey, sweet heart, pretty lady”, for a female colleague. Some may not attach much meaning to it, but others may take offence at such endearing gestures, especially if they are married. A male colleague who uses such words of endearment on them may indirectly be making these female colleagues look inferior to them. Such words are not professional enough and must be kept out of the work zone.
”You look sick and overweight”
Making comments about the health status or weight gain or loss of a female colleague can land you in hot water, as many may not take kindly to such rude words. No matter how close you are to a lady in the office, do all you can to avoid issues surrounding her health or weight. Some ladies hate it when they are told how obese they look. It weighs them down psychologically and makes them feel bad about about themselves. There are more diplomatic ways of passing your message across without you hurting the feelings of the individual.
”Why are you still unmarried?”
This is a very touchy subject that can provoke instant response from the opposite sex. A lady who is of marriageable age and is been asked the question about why she isn’t yet married yet, can erupt without warning and the outcome of such encounter can never be pleasant. Even if you have a cordial relationship with a female colleague, never bring such subject to the work environment to avoid embarrassing her and incurring her wrath. Not everyone wants her private life to become a subject of discussion in the office place. Such words and remarks can be viewed as mockery to the recipient of the question.
”Are you going through your menstrual cycle?”
Women cherish their privacy a lot and as a male colleague, you don’t have the right mention or ask a Lady/woman who isn’t your spouse about her menstrual cycle or period. It makes most women uncomfortable. Although there are women who can tolerate this outside the office, it is totally unacceptable in the office. Never fall into the temptation of making these inappropriate jokes or comments about a female co-worker who is having her menstrual flow. It is not only rude, but uncalled for.
”Are you dating anyone?”
Asking questions about the relationship status of a female colleague is common, but not within the office. If you are close to her, there is the possibility to ask such intimate questions outside the office, but as soon as you come within the walls of an office, such frivolous questions must be discarded by all means. You should be able to know when you are stepping beyond your boundary and play safe to avoid making mistakes that will draw unnecessary attention of the company.
”Because you are a woman….”
Every individual no matter the gender can get what he or she has labored for in the workplace. Don’t attribute a promotion, a pay rise or an incentive to a female colleague to her gender. It is usually not a good word to share with a female worker. It does not make sense and the fallout from such careless statement or comment can sometimes get out of hand.
The truth about having a cordial relationship with female co-workers is to be professional in your approach as much as possible. Don’t mix-up work and personal issues while at work and do all you can to give her the due respect she deserves as a colleague and not as a woman. In the workplace, everyone is treated equally and not because one is male and the other female. Uttering some of these words therefore can create industrial disharmony and eliminate peaceful co-existence among colleagues.