I recently read an article called “7 Things You Should Never Say to Your Employees” on Entrepreneur and thought it was really interesting. As a service business owner, I know you’ve been there – struggling to manage unmotivated employees, having to resolve conflicts, and generally feeling like your workers don’t view themselves as part of a team.
When you’re frustrated or feel like someone’s testing your patience, it’s easy to say something you regret. But as the boss, you’ve got to watch what you say – allowing yourself to speak without thinking could ultimately make your employees feel even less motivated.
The Entrepreneur article I mentioned above has a great list of seven phrases you, as the boss, need to be really careful to avoid. Watching your tongue can protect your reputation, and build trust among your employees.
- “I’m the boss. Do as I say.” Do you want your workers to respect you? Show them respect and hold yourself to the same standards.
- “You’re lucky to have a job.” No one wants to be told that they owe their employer gratitude simply for giving them a job. If you have a problem with a worker – talk to him about it, or cut ties.
- “If you don’t like it, I’ll find someone who does.” If you threaten your employees with firing all the time, they’ll do the job – at least for a while. You can expect to see a lack of motivation and an eventual mass exodus if you take this approach to management.
- “Why are you the only one who has a problem with this?” Are you dealing with someone who is regularly obstinate, or are you simply unwilling to listen when someone has a concern about a situation, or is having a bad day? Don’t compare or play favorites.
- “I don’t have time for this.” Your job as the boss is to be there when your employees need to talk to you. Set aside a few minutes when someone needs your attention.
- “You have no idea what stress is.” Your own stress isn’t necessarily more than anyone else’s – just different. Don’t act as though your employees’ stress doesn’t matter.
- “Do you see my name on that door?” Maybe your company brand is built around your own name – but that doesn’t mean you’re solely responsible for building it. Give credit where credit is due.
Remember, you’re a part of the team as well – to be an effective leader, you need to be present and never condescending. Work on how you word things, avoid these statements, and I know you’ll build a motivated, awesome team that will continue to grow.
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Mike Agugliaro, “Business Warrior”
Founder of the $28 Million Dollar Fast Track Academy