5 things boss shouldn’t say

Los Angeles Times - - JOBS -

1. “You’re lucky to work here.” A state­ment like this is dic­ta­to­rial, threat­en­ing and clearly meant to in­cite fear, which isn’t good for any­one. “Fear-based man­age­ment does not cre­ate the best re­sults — that’s all there is to it,” says Kather­ine Crow­ley, co-au­thor of “Work­ing for You Isn’t Work­ing for Me: The Ul­ti­mate Guide to Man­ag­ing Your Boss.” “If some­one is afraid all the time of los­ing their job, they’re not go­ing to give you their best work.”

2. “It is what it is.” A state­ment like this im­plies that there’s no room for change or flex­i­bil­ity in an or­ga­ni­za­tion — even when the or­ga­ni­za­tion is badly in need of it. Not only is it frus­trat­ing for em­ploy­ees to hear this, but it can also hin­der your or­ga­ni­za­tion from mov­ing for­ward. As demon­strated by the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of “hack days,” be­ing open to new ideas and em­pow­er­ing your em­ploy­ees to ex­plore new busi­ness so­lu­tions not only in­creases morale, it’s also good for busi­ness.

3. “That’s not my fault.” Un­less you’re the pope, you’re not in­fal­li­ble, so if you make a mis­take, own up to it. While you may think ad­mit­ting a mis­take re­veals a weak­ness, it’s ac­tu­ally a sign of strength, ar­gues lead­er­ship ex­pert Doug Guthrie in an ar­ti­cle for Forbes. “What is more pow­er­ful than an in­di­vid­ual who can stand in front of his or her em­ploy­ees and ad­mit that the fail­ure was his or hers?” Guthrie writes. “What bet­ter way to gain the re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion of your team than to take the blame and re­spon­si­bil­ity on your­self rather than call­ing out some­one on your team? By ad­mit­ting you are wrong, by tak­ing blame, you will have a group of more com­mit­ted fol­low­ers.”

4. “That’s none of your busi­ness.” Whether you’re try­ing to pro­tect your em­ploy­ees or your­self, more of­ten than not, keep­ing em­ploy­ees com­pletely in the dark can do more harm than good. Great lead­ers need to be can­did with their em­ploy­ees, and as trans­par­ent as pos­si­ble. “If you fail to prac­tice to­tal can­dor, you will lose the trust of your team, your lead­er­ship and your cus­tomers,” says Jim Welch, au­thor of “Grow Now: 8 Es­sen­tial Steps to Flex Your Lead­er­ship Mus­cles.”

5. “Did you get my email?” It’s cool if you want to work 24/7, but you can’t ex­pect the same of your em­ploy­ees. Putting pres­sure on your em­ploy­ees to con­stantly be con­nected to the of­fice can in­fringe on their work/life bal­ance, ul­ti­mately stir­ring up feel­ings of re­sent­ment and lead­ing to burnout.

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