What You Shouldn't Say To Your Employees

by Raven Ishak

There are plenty of perks when it comes to being a boss. But in addition to those incentives comes a handful of responsibilities that you need to be aware of, like knowing how to manage your staff. For example, there are things you shouldn't say to your employees, no matter what. As a boss, you need to be mindful as to how you communicate with your employees because what you say can determine how your office is run. A good leader knows how to manager their team effectively. They will take the time to listen to their employees as well as constructively critique their performance to help improve them. A good leader knows how to communicate well while still being patient. On the other hand, a poor leader does quite the opposite. They use their power to threaten their employees, they partake in the office gossip, and they take credit for everything. Basically, some supervisors may not know where the boundary lies when it comes to the relationships of their employees.

"Boundaries are huge and many people actually have weak boundaries without realizing it; it's why people meet, feel 'in love' and settle into being a couple within weeks - or, they meet someone in a grocery line and in minutes start telling their life story OR listening to a life story; both are boundary issues," says zen psychotherapist and neuromarketing strategist Michele Paiva in an interview with Bustle over email.

Being a "bad" boss is not the end of the world. You can change if you're aware that you're leading toward that side of the spectrum. If you think you may be crossing the line and may even be possibly abusing your position, here are 11 things you shouldn't say to your employees.

1. "I had too much to drink last night."

It might be tough to swallow, but your employees are not your buddies. While it's a good idea to talk about some personal stories, you don't really want them to imagine you getting wasted with your friends. "Never tell anything that does not raise your employee higher as an employee. Nothing that happens in your personal life helps them and they have to act more interested as you are the boss. Save yourself face and a head start on professionalism by not over-sharing," says Paiva.

2. "So-and-so doesn't know how to do his/her job."

Whatever you do, don't complain about another employee. It makes you look unprofessional and your staff may think you're the gossiping type. "Do not talk about other employees, ever. It's incredibly immature and unprofessional. Get a friend or a therapist but do not use your employees like that — it creates low moral and everyone is going to wonder if you are talking about them also," says Paiva.

3. "That project went well because I thought of it."

Being a leader means working within a team. Even if you thought of the idea yourself, it doesn't mean you need to boast about it to your employees. Praise them for their help and even ask them for their input on how you could have made the idea work even better. "If you want your job to do well, your career, your company — then get in a team spirit. Managers actually often are not the best team players. Ask more advice and for more input from your organization," says Paiva.

4. “Personal issues shouldn’t get in the way of your performance.”

While in a perfect world, your personal life would not interfere with your professional, that's most likely not always going to be the case. And as a boss, it's a good idea to be understanding when these type of situations do happen. "Listen, don't just humor them. Get involved in what is happening in their lives in a professional manner. Did someone just have a baby and they are tired? Offer them to disregard their breaks and go home a half hour early. What can you do within reason, to help your team be more productive? Don't isolate or ignore them, nor speak in a way that shows you are disconnected" says Paiva.

5. "You're lucky you have a job."

According to Entrepreneur, The Occupreneur® Coach Lindsay Broder said, "If that’s how you really feel about any of your employees, then perhaps you’re the one who’s lucky to have a job. No one works well in an environment where they are made to feel like somehow they’re indebted to their employer. If it’s not working out with a particular employee then be a professional and deal with the issues at hand. Find a way to correct them or part ways with him immediately. The mentality that your employee should 'kiss your ring' is immature and evidence that you lack leadership skills." Threatening your employees is a huge sign of a poor leader. If your employee is coming to you because they're unhappy, take a moment to listen to them and figure out a way to change things around.

6. "So-and-so can do the job, why can't you?"

According to Forbes, the last thing you want to do is compare your employee to other employees. Every employee is different, and it doesn't make sense to compare and judge them when they are struggling. It can create resentment and make them feel inferior.

7. "I'm the one in charge here. Don't you ever forget that."

According to the American Express website, president and founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd. Bruna Martinuzzi said, "The more power you have, the gentler your approach should be. Reminding people that you can fire them is a surefire way to demoralize them. Comments such as 'I can easily replace you' or 'I'm the one in charge here. Don't you ever forget that' have no place in a leader's vocabulary. 'Because I said so' and 'I don't pay you to think' are other examples of a leader's misuse of power." Your employees are not going to respect you if you say these types of things to them. Don't abuse your leadership just because you have it. Treat your employees with respect and they will most likely return the favor.

8. "That's not my fault."

Being a leader means you must take responsibility for your team, whether it was your fault or not. Throwing them under the bus just to save your butt can create more problems and is not solution-focused. According to CNN, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results Darlene Price said, "The best leaders take responsibility for their actions. They don't point fingers, make excuses, or throw others under the bus. While no one likes to feel blame, a great leader absorbs the hit, demonstrates accountability, and rallies the team towards a solution. Instead of blaming previous management, the former administration, other departments, or the economy, say, 'Let's talk about what we're going to do next to ensure success.'"

9. "Did you hear about so-and-so?"

According to The Muse, there should be no reason why a leader needs to participate in the office gossip. By getting involved, you're not setting professional standards for your employees. Also, it could make your employees wonder if you've ever spread gossiped about them. Just do yourself a favor: no matter how juicy the rumor is, stay out of it.

10. "I'm too busy."

It's part of your job to be there for your staff, no matter how busy you are. If you can't chat at that moment, communicate that to your employees and schedule for a later time. Don't just brush them off, because you'll make them feel unimportant and devalued. According to a LinkedIn article, NY Times best-selling author Dave Kerpen said, "This statement is terse and shows a lack of empathy to the needs of your staff. It also makes your employees feel that what they are doing is not that important. Instead of telling them you're too busy, try asking them to come back at a specific time when you do have availability. This gives them confidence that they have your ear, your respect, and your sincere care about the work they are doing. "

11. “I'm always working. Why aren't you?”

According to U.S. Money, saying this to your employees can easily burn them out and destroy the morale. Plus, if they're working way more than you initially told them, then you may actually be overworking them. Overall, it's not healthy for them or your company to be expecting your employees to be working seven days a week without being compensated in some way.

Just because you're the boss doesn't mean you have the right to talk down to your staff or treat them poorly, especially when there's a better way to do it. Remember to be patient, treat every employee as individuals, and imagine the type of boss you would want to look up to as a leader. And use these tips as a reminder of what not to say.

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