07 Things you should never say when you meet someone for the first time – Business English Lesson
What you say when you meet someone for the first time is so important because those opening words cast a first and last impression.
1) Avoid negative comments “I hate to work here.” “My job stinks.” “My boss is a jerk.”
If you are going to come across as someone who whines or complains, you are sure to kill the relationship even before starting it. Although the above statements could be true, they are better left unsaid in a social or business setting.
2) Money related topics: “What’s your salary?” “How much do you make?”“What do you get paid?”
The amount of money a person earns is a very personal matter. It is very rude to ask someone a question about their salary. If you are really curious or it is important that you know you could research information about salaries on the internet.
3) Religious sentiments: “Do you believe in God?” “Are you religious?”
Regardless of how religious or non-religious you are. You should avoid asking such questions when meeting someone for the first time, unless you are at a religious meeting or a member of clergy.
4) Questions about Sexual Orientation: “Are you interested in men?” “Are you interested in women?”
This really a very personal question, it can make anyone uncomfortable and could even border on sexual harassment.
5) Questions about Physical appearance: “I love your dress/watch.” “Who does your hair?”
Avoid commenting on personal appearances or belongingseven if it is positivewhen you meet someone for the first time. It is too personal and out of place. Even after you get to know them, be careful of what you say. Physical comments are best avoided. You could give sincere work-related praise instead such as “I really enjoyed your presentation” etc.
6) Information about Health &Hardships: “I am getting a divorce”; “I had to file for bankruptcy”
If you are going through something difficult it may be tempting to share with your new colleague/client but it is entirely appropriate. If you are facing serious health issues that should be discussed with your employer but specific details about health and hardship is a definite no-no.
7) Self-centered conversations:“I…I...I…”
As someone very rightly said “I is the smallest letter in the alphabet, so don’t make it the largest word in our vocabulary. The best way to avoid “I –centric” conversations is to show sincere interest in others by and listening activelyasking appropriate questions e.g.: “How did you get into accounting? “etc.