Backhanded phrases courteous communicators avoid

Some common sayings carry serious negative connotations. Here are some statements that won’t win many friends around the office—not to mention clients.

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Have you ever received feedback or comments from colleagues that begin with the phrase “with all due respect”?

The phrase is typically used by someone who wants to criticize you or your work, but that person feels the need to soften the message. Of course, “with all due respect” means nothing of the sort. It indicates willful disagreement with someone in a position of authority; subtle disrespect is intended.

Here’s an example in context, pulled from a colleague’s email:

With all due respect, I differ with your perspective that my content was a ‘sales promotion’ of our products. And a number of your edits delete what I think is important, instructive, product-related information.”

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