Off-​Limits Topics for the Office: What NOT to Say in the Workplace

For salespeople, job security isn't just based on making sales; how they conduct themselves in the office can have a major impact on their employment. To be successful professionally, salespeople need to be conscious of what (and how much) they reveal in the work setting, and Travis Bradberry recently wrote an article about this topic for Inc. “You can't build a strong professional network if you don't open up to your colleagues; but doing so is tricky, because revealing the wrong things can have a devastating effect on your career,” he writes.

So, how can you build relationships with coworkers without revealing too much? Bradberry lists 12 things that successful people do not discuss in the workplace, a few of which are below:

  • How much they dislike their job. While this seems like a no-​brainer, some people still vent about their jobs while at work. No one wants to listen to complaints and constant negativity can bring down team morale.
  • How much money they make. Most likely, no one in the office makes the same amount come each pay day, so blasting numbers can only cause problems–even among the closest of co-​workers. “It's tempting to swap salary figures with a buddy out of curiosity, but the moment you do, you'll never see each other the same way again,” Bradberry warns.
  • Their political and religious beliefs. It’s common knowledge that religion and politics are hot topics–and can easily lead to conflict. Because these topics are likely to lead to strong opinions, it’s best to keep them out of the office.
  • An offensive joke. If you have to think about whether or not a joke is offensive, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Making someone feel bad (and making you LOOK bad) just isn’t worth it. “You never know whom people know or what experiences they've had in life that can lead your joke to tread on subjects that they take very seriously,” he writes.

Don’t jeopardize your job by making careless remarks. Read all of Bradberry’s “do-​not-​discuss” topics and make sure to keep those to yourself in the future.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.