5 Things Managers Should Not Say

By Alicia Geigel on September 2, 2019

Being a manager is not an easy job, but being a good manager is an even harder one. Having the title of ‘boss’ or ‘manager’ comes with a great deal of responsibility, as you’re in charge of not only overseeing the operations of your company, but you’re also responsible for giving your employees clear instructions, a healthy work environment and constructive criticism.

Under all the stress of holding a managerial position, it is nearly impossible to do everything right. There will always be mistakes, slip-ups, and things that you regret or could have done better. In some situations, the wrong word comes out or you say something with good intentions, but it comes off wrongly.

What are the perks of being less intimidating and more interpersonal with your employees, you might ask? A group of researchers at California State University sought to find the answer to that, with their study finding that “when leaders are fair to the members of their team, the team members display more citizenship behavior and are more productive, both individually and as a team.” So yes, it does actually pay to be nice!

Are you currently a manager or about to take on a managerial position? Looking for better ways to interact with your employees? Here are the top 4/5 things you should never say on the job. It’s good to know these so you can not only be better for yourself but so you can create a greater work environment as well!

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1. “Keep Doing What You’re Doing”

 While this doesn’t seem like a negative comment to say to an employee, it doesn’t do your employee any good and here’s why. The phrase is generic, which doesn’t give your employee any clear or specific indicators of exactly what they’re doing right. In their heads, they might not feel they’re doing an adequate job in any of the assignments or tasks assigned, which can make this comment confusing. Instead, make a specific observation to them, such as “You’ve been doing great with [project/task x], is there anything you wish to improve on?” This not only validates the work of your employee, but it also gives them the opportunity to voice to you ways in which they want to grow or develop.

2. “That’s Not Important”

Managers are by nature busy and oftentimes overwhelmed by a multitude of responsibilities. As a manager, it can become easy to shift your focus specifically on what concerns you exclusively and push the needs or wants of your employees to the back burner. If an employee approaches you with a question, concern, or idea, the last thing you want to say is “That’s not important.” This makes your employee feel dismissed and invaluable in the workplace, which can then affect the work atmosphere as a whole or even make them quit. Instead, be open and understanding of what they have to say and ask what their concerns are.

3. “Failure is Not an Option”

 The pressures of working can easily affect everyone, not just you as a manager. Employees are already under pressure of getting their job, project, or task done and to imply or state that there are no room for mistakes or failure only increases the pressure on your employees. This can affect their ability to perform well on the job and complete regular tasks in an effective manner. Instead of saying that, sit down with your employee(s) and ask them what their ideas are of a backup plan if something goes wrong. Doing so allows your employees to creatively come up with solutions to regular problems as well as give them the freedom to experiment with new ideas.

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4. “Keep Your Personal Issues at Home”

 Everyone has problems outside of work unless you’re at work literally 24/7. When we leave the office, stressors of everyday life like romantic relationships, family, finances, etc. can take a toll on us and our ability to do the best we can at work. Sometimes talking to someone at work about what goes on in your personal life can be the only outlet to express these feelings. While bringing up your issues at work and letting them interfere with your or others ability to work isn’t good, it’s also not good as a manager to shut down an employee who is going through a rough time. If you notice an employee talking about personal issues, simply talk to them and give them advice on how to balance work and home (given their specific situation).

5. “I Don’t Have Time to Talk Right Now”

When you easily dismiss or turn an employee away from talking, it can make them feel unappreciated and silenced on the job. No one is as busy as a manager, however, if an employee raises a question or wishes to have a conversation with you, make them feel valued and important. You can do this by saying “I’d like to discuss this but I’m busy right now. Can you book in some time for us to discuss this further?” By saying this, your employee feels validated and is also encouraged to grow.

While being a manager can be a difficult job, this doesn’t mean you have to speak negatively with your employees. Everyone makes mistakes, however, if you follow these tips and imagine how you would like to be treated, you can make your work environment better for yourself and your employees. As always, good luck!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | photographer | food blogger if you want to learn more about me, visit my profile and check out my articles!

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