Management is a tough position. You need to ensure that your focus is on the success of your company or department and to do so, you’ll have to manage your team in such a way to increase productivity and engagement. But many managers fall short when it comes to motivation. Why? Sometimes it comes down to three little words and the charged meaning behind them. Before you say these phrases, think about how they will be received and determine an alternative.
“In my Opinion.”
Sure, it is more than okay to share your opinion with your team. But do recognize that if you begin any statement with, “In my opinion,” what your employees hear is, “This is the way you are supposed to do it because every other way is objectively wrong.” The truth is, you’ve hired your team because they are good at what they do, so it’s essential that you can remove yourself from a situation and allow them to do their job.
“I’m the Boss.”
Putting your foot down is another situation that will make your employees cringe and respond poorly. When you create an environment where everyone is afraid to state their own opinions simply because you’re in a position of power, your team will become disgruntled quickly and many may choose to leave rather than deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
“Always been done.”
Another phrase that managers should avoid is “this is how it’s always been done.” Yes, there are procedures that have proven effective in the past, but if you’re never open for the chance, you may miss out on important advances that will shape your business positively in the future. If your employee comes to you with an idea that could revolutionize your processes, try them out. See what happens. It may be worth the risk.
“Are you serious?”
Condescending and patronizing remarks are also something to be avoided in the workplace. If your team asks you a question or suggests a solution, never respond to them like their idea is crazy. You may not like it. You may not want to try it, but by essentially calling your employees stupid, they will be unlikely to try new things in the future or even try at their jobs at all.
Managing with an iron fist doesn’t have to be the only way. When you can make factual decisions and allow your team to have input, you can improve employee satisfaction.
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