4 phrases that make you sound like a bad boss (and what to say instead)
August 7,2020 at 4:16PM UTC (Edited)
How you speak to your your employees can make all the difference not only in your relationships, but also in their effort and dedication. Here are a few phrases —that may seem like workplace norms — that bad bosses say and what to say instead.
1. What you're saying: We've always done it this way.
What to say instead: We've never tried that before. What would you need to make this happen?
It's comforting to stay where we are and do things we've always done. But if your employee wants to try something new and you keep shutting them down with this excuse, you're denying them the chance to make real change in your company.
2. What you're saying: I'll keep your suggestion in mind.
What to say instead: Thank you for the feedback. What would be your next steps?
This phrase is coded for "I'll never think of this again" and almost everyone knows it. You should always be open to feedback, and if you're not going to take action right away, make sure you'll be able to refer to this feedback in the future.
3. What you're saying: Just get it done.
What to say instead: Can you get this completed by [certain time]? Do you need any other resources?
When we're stressing to get something done, it can be easy to push our employees away and just hope they get their part time. Yet when we do this, we might leave them struggling. Use this as an opportunity to check in and ensure they'll get the job done right.
4. What you're saying: Don't mess this up.
What to say instead: This is important, and I want to make sure we can do it right.
Like "just get it done," instilling fear in your employees to get something right isn't a supportive tactic — and it's more likely to cause mistakes! Instead, offer help if your employee needs it and check in with guidance, not scare tactics.
What other common phrases make managers should like bad bosses? Have you used any of them before? What did you learn to say instead?
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