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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.)

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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