Whether you have just been promoted and are now managing a team or you have been in a leadership role for a while, there are several things you don’t want to say to your team or your colleagues. You may be wondering why this matters. Well, in addition to it simply being the right thing to do, how you lead others impacts your company’s (and your) reputation. How you treat those you work with creates your reputation as either A. an amazing person to work with or B. the person no one ever wants to work with. Here are a few things you should NEVER say at work:
“That is not the way we do things here.”
This statement is the killer of ideation and innovation. The people you work with are there to bring their innovative ideas to the table and you want to do everything in your power to encourage that expression.
“I don’t agree with our leadership on this but …”
When working with your employees you are representing your company and your personal opinion is typically irrelevant. Whether you think management is “right” or “wrong,” it is important that as a leader in your company you demonstrate your alignment to the goals and strategies of the organization. Communicating your disagreement can create confusion and erode your reputation as a leader who can articulate the vision and strategy of the organization in a way that inspires commitment and action.
“We have to cut costs somewhere.”
In the midst of layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, it is important that you communicate the changes in ways that articulate the value of your colleagues as individuals, not simply as a cost item on the company’s balance sheet. It is your responsibility to not only lead compassionately, but to also be an example to the organization in tough times. Be the example you want your team to follow.
“We were here all night, where were you?”
As a leader you never want to overtly or covertly pressure your employees or set the expectation that they should be working 24/7. Not only does this erode your status as a great people manager, it will negatively impact the morale and productivity of both the individual employee and potentially your entire team.
Remember your words have the power to inspire or tear down your team. Focus your language on supporting your teams to do their best work!