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As a leader, your team and the employees in your company are always looking up to you. They are watching how you act, react and more importantly, what you’re saying. In fact, what you say may sometimes seriously affect your ability to achieve success. Great leaders understand the impact of the spoken word, and how it affects the hearts and minds of people. They steer clear of saying anything that has a negative affect or is detrimental to the success of their team. Here are 10 things you should avoid saying if you want to work towards becoming a great leader.
1. I’m the boss.
Being a leader, there’s really no need to assert your authority on your team. By saying that you’re the boss, you’re implying that whatever you say goes, and your team will begin to fear you and fail to ask questions or collaborate as a team should. As a leader, your job is to empower, not to impose power.
2. That’s not my fault.
Things don’t always go as planned and as a leader, when you blame your team, you’re separating yourself from them. Great leaders accept responsibility, regroup with the team, and strategize on what the necessary next steps are.
3. I’ll just do it myself.
If you do not trust your team enough, you will never be able to help them grow. Also, you’re being unproductive by not delegating tasks that someone else is capable of doing. Identify the right talent and give your team the opportunity to contribute and shine.
4. I already know that.
Great leaders know they won’t always be the smartest person in every room they’re in, nor do they want to be. Instead, they’re always learning and trying to better themselves wherever they go. By welcoming and valuing your employees’ intelligence and contributions, you make them feel involved and part of the team.
5. That’s not how we do things here.
This probably one of the worst things a leader can say. Just because it was done one way yesterday, it doesn’t mean that there can’t be a more efficient way to complete that same task today. When you’re open to suggestions and process improvements from employees, they feel more comfortable to share their ideas, knowing that they are actually being considered.
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6. This can’t be done.
If you continue to tell your team that what they’re proposing is impossible and can’t be accomplished, they will get the sense that you don’t have confidence in them. Yes, as a leader it’s important to be realistic, however, you don’t want to stiffen the team’s morale by being a downer.
7. I don’t care what you want.
As a leader, you should always be mindful of what your team members and employees want. Professional relationships work on mutual respect that always needs to be maintained. If you’re telling people you don’t care about what they want, how can you expect them to care about what you want?
8. You better not fail.
Nobody is immune from the fear of failure. Even the most accomplished leaders can fail and by asking employees to be wary of failing, you’re instilling fear in employees which limits their creativity and risk taking abilities. Instead, let your employees know that failure is okay, as long as their learning something from it.
9. What were you thinking?
When your employees make mistakes, asking them this question will cause them to stop trying anything new. Once you place blame, your employees will begin to doubt themselves which is detrimental to the company as a whole. Instead, try to understand the reasoning behind the decisions that were made and help them reflect on their mistakes.
10. I don’t have time for this.
As you go up the corporate ladder, you’ll find that time becomes your most precious asset. If you’re brushing off your team, they will eventually stop asking questions and stop seeking your advice. So always schedule some time to answer questions and make yourself available to your employees. At the end of the day, you want them to know that you’re there for them.