Berger Leadership Blog

Sep 01, 2017

If you are a leader, don't say these 19 things

Negative talk

When you are a leader, people pay attention to what you have to say - which can be good or bad.

We want to motivate our employees and build them up. But there are some statements -“ some that simply roll off the tongue - that can upset our employees and shouldn't be said at all.

Jeff Haden, contributing editor to Inc.com, recently put together a great list of 19 statements to avoid. They include:

- "This is probably not what you want to hear." Don't shift the issue onto someone else.

- "Work smarter, not harder." Haden sums up the thoughts of someone on the receiving end of this statement very well: "One: You imply I'm stupid. Two: You imply whatever I'm doing should take a lot less time and effort than it has been taking. And three: After you say it, I'm kinda pissed off."

- "There is no 'I' in 'team.' " Remember, it is individuals that make up a team.

- "I guess it just wasn't meant to be." Take responsibility and figure out what went wrong.

- "Feel free to give me feedback." Ask people directly for feedback instead.

- "Failure is not an option." Failing is always a possibility.

- "We don't need to reinvent the wheel." This statement is OK, says Haden, as long as it isn't used to shut down new ideas.

I encourage you to read his whole list. As leaders, people watch what we do, but equally important are the words we say. Any other statements you think should be avoided?

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