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7 Stupid Things Your Bosses Say To You

7 Stupid Things Your Bosses Say To You

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?

Chaos.

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.)

More by this author

Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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