4 statements you should never tell staff

You are the boss, and employees are taking note of everything you say. Avoid causing morale, productivity, attitude and engagement problems by never uttering these four phrases:

  1. “I’m the boss.” You are, but that should never be your justification for making a decision—especially an unpopular one. If employees feel they have no say because “You’re the boss,” they’ll disconnect from the work.
  2. “That customer is driving me nuts.” If you speak badly of customers, employees will too. Emphasize that every customer is important to your business—even the most challenging ones.
  3. “You are the only one having issues.” That is likely untrue; other employees just haven’t gained the courage to talk to you yet. Also, you’ll make employees feel alone and helpless. Instead, work to alleviate all employees’ pain and stress.
  4. “Don’t argue with me.” Employees should question your ideas, point out flaws and make recommendations for improvement.

— Adapted from “17 Things the Boss Should Never Say,” Dave Kerpen, http://www.linkedin.com/in/davekerpen.

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