In leadership, it’s better if you can walk the talk–after all, management is all about being a good role model. However, we can’t just shrug away the importance of a good communication between the employee and the boss. This is where the foundation of the relationship begins!
What happens, then, if the words get mixed up and the meanings get lost because of the wrong choice of words?
To help you (and your company), here is a list of the stupid things your bosses say to you, along with the alternatives that can be used:
1. “I said so.”
Translation: I’m the boss. You’re not worthy of having an opinion.
Your authority as the boss is not enough reason to get your employees to obey your every command. Most of the time, professionals may even get turned off and try challenging you just because you’ve uttered this number one item on the “Stupid Things Your Bosses Say” list.
Say this instead: “I was able to come to this conclusion because…”
2. “You’re getting paid by me, so do what I tell you.”
Translation: Yes, I’m using the risk of losing your job as a threat.
No employee wants to have a dictatorial person as his manager! Great leaders often use inspiration, motivation and collaboration in order to bring about great performance from his employees. Using threat, coercion and duress is never a good idea.
Say this instead: I understand. If you were in my position, what would you rather do?
3. “The experience that you’ll be getting is priceless.”
Translation: We will be paying you less than your labor is worth to the company, but don’t worry, you’ll get lots of experience and exposure!
The potential for getting an experience in exchange for actual labor and actual results is disheartening. No one wants to get paid by experience alone–just think of the workers in the entry-level work force! Everyone needs money to help them provide for their needs.
Say this instead: Your compensation will be equal to what your worth to the company is. In addition, you’ll get to develop new skills and learn new knowledge.
4. “Hey, I’m pleased to tell you that I’ll be giving you a great opportunity!”
Translation: Here’s an additional project that I’m handing over to you because no one else wants to do it.
Telling this to your employee makes them feel like they’re the scapegoat. Let them figure out the quality of the opportunity themselves–don’t try too hard to push this work or your employees might feel pressured.
Say this instead: Be sure to prepare yourself. Next week, you’ll work on a new project with one of our best clients.
5. “Don’t waste office supplies! We’re cutting costs.”
Translation: I believe in saving short-term at the cost of wasting long-term productivity.
If you’re the boss, saying this while buying additional office supplies or attending hugely expensive marketing events makes you seem like a hypocrite.
If you’re the employee, on the other hand, hearing one of these stupid things your bosses say to you is discouraging. Seriously, does your boss think that a few savings on the paper clips would improve the company’s cash flow significantly?
Say this instead: Worry about getting your job done in the most efficient way possible.
6. “We’ve always done it this way.”
Translation: Don’t bother looking for better ways. Let’s just stick with the tried-and-tested.
As the boss, you’re managing people and ensuring that they’re productive and that they’re using their resources up to the maximum level. Just tell them what to do and let them figure out the best way on how to do it.
Say this instead: Thank you for your input. Let’s try doing it your way.
7. “Ah, all these achievements are because of me.”
Translation: I’m taking all the credit. I’m getting all the rewards even though a part of my success can be attributed to your hard work.
As the boss, you’re not going to inspire people to do better if you show your medals every morning at the orientation meeting. No one wants to hear about them–save the self-serving talks for home with your partner.
Say this instead: Nothing. (Don’t brag! Maintain humility and class when receiving awards.)