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7 Critical Statements Every Manager Should Avoid To Be More Respectable

7 Critical Statements Every Manager Should Avoid To Be More Respectable

When I teach or facilitate management and leadership classes I tell my students that I have had the privilege of working for 10 different managers in my life, eight who were amazing and two whom “I learned so much from”. This is a nice way to say two of them were unable (and incapable as well) of earning anyone’s respect..…but, I did learn so much of what not to do as a manager.

See if your manager uses any of these statements that were a part of in my two manager’s regular communication, if so they are quickly depleting their respect quotient:

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1. “You did what?”

Notice the tone and the wording is immediately accusational and there is the lack of applying Stephen Covey’s principle of “seek first to understand” from his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.

2. “That’s not my problem.”

If he or she is your manager, and responsible for the team’s success, then they are responsible for ensuring the problem is resolved. It does not mean you are off the hook for the problem you have identified; you are still accountable for your actions and both of you should contribute to the solution.

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3. “I’m too busy now.”

One of the primary functions of a manager is to be a resource, or provide resources, to support your success. It may be true that your manager is busy at the time, if so at least he or she should take a moment to get a brief understanding of your request and put a plan in motion to address the item in the near future.

4. “It’s not my decision, this is from upper management.”

This scapegoating approach is code for “I don’t have any power and I am just doing what I am told”. Managers may not agree with all upper management decisions, but they should be held accountable to gain an understanding of why the decision was made and to provide upward feedback to address concerns. Managers own making the connection for all communications to their employees.

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5. “But”

This is probably one of the most detrimental words for a manager to use in his or her communications. By placing the “but” in the middle of a statement, all of the previous communication will be considered invalid. The negative consequence of this approach is that the employee remembers only the “but” portion of the statement. As a quick tip, substitute the word “And” for any “But”, or but-like words (however, yet, still, nonetheless, though, or nevertheless).

6. “You again.”

Obviously you are being placed in the annoyance or pest category. No matter how bad of an employee you might be, managers own getting the most and best out of every worker. The “you again” response is disrespectful and indicates that the manager has not set clear expectations for you or resolved any items that could have been done proactively.

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7. “Just do it.”

Although Nike has made billions of dollars from this slogan, this communication from your manager usually has a different connotation than the positive intent for accomplishment from the Nike slogan. Often this statement emerges from the lack of clarity from the manager of what needs to be done. To combat this disrespectful practice, you can help your manager by ensuring that he or she is providing the three elements of quantity, quality and pace in all of his/her communications. Great examples of this type of communication can be found in the book “The Leader of OZ – Revealing the 101 Marvelous Leadership Secrets for the 21st Century”.

The good news is that most disrespectful managers, often in their relentless quest for bottom-line results at any cost, may be unaware of how these seven critical statements affect the productivity and engagement of their employees. Often disrespectful managers are trainable, as an employee take on the challenge to help them get better. When I was unsuccessful with the two disrespectful managers whom “I learned so much from”, I proactively moved on and found other managers that contributed to building manager skills and to my personal brand. If you are stuck with a disrespectful manager, give it your best to change their behavior and help your colleagues who may be suffering as well….and if you are unsuccessful, moving on may be a good career strategy.

Featured photo credit: Horrible Bosses via fanpop.com

More by this author

Dr. Kevin Gazzara

Senior partner at Magna Leadership Solutions

The 10 Leadership Lessons We Can all Learn from Giraffes The 6 Best Practices to Kill Employee Motivation and Engagement 7 Critical Statements Every Manager Should Avoid To Be More Respectable 12 Ways to Identify a High-Maintenance Employee 8 Deadly Traps that Cause Our Failures to Accomplish Everyday Work

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

The Bottom Line

Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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