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:
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.