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9 sentences that a boss should never say

9 sentences that a boss should never say

European Business Listicle 11/2019

We communicate a lot in our everyday working lives – with colleagues as well as with staff. As a manager, however, there are several sentences you should avoid so as not to offend your employees. We’ve put together a few things that you should never say as the boss.

“That’s not my problem.”

Your employee tells you about a question or challenge that he doesn’t know how to solve on his own. With the sentence “That’s not my problem,” you really show him the cold shoulder and signalize to him that he shouldn’t bother you. However, as a manager, it’s your job to enable your employees to overcome challenges. So listen to what your employee has brought up and help him solve the problem. Otherwise, in the future, you won’t even find out when something goes wrong and might have to face serious consequences for the company.

“I’m too busy right now to deal with it.”

Of course, as the boss, you have to take care of a lot of things at the same time. That’s why you sometimes don’t have the time to deal with your employees’ concerns in detail. Nonetheless: Cutting him off directly with this sentence makes your employee believe that his question isn’t important to you. Had his concern not been important to him, however, he wouldn’t have come to you. So just listen to what it’s about and arrange an appointment for another time to deal with anything that can’t or doesn’t have to be solved immediately to discuss the matter in detail.

“I’d like to have your job. I’d have less to worry about.”

Being responsible for others can be a major challenge. But that doesn’t mean that your employees’ work can’t be just as demanding. With the above sentence, you signalize that the employee in question has an “easy life” in your view and therefore doesn’t accomplish much. Better not to let yourself get carried away.

“We’ve always done it that way.”

An employee tells you about an idea or suggests how things could be done differently? Listen to the idea or suggestion and ponder whether it’s doable or not. Especially in this day and age, you can’t afford simply to keep going as you always have. “We’ve always done it that way” signalizes to your employee that you don’t feel like dealing with his suggestion and that you might not have the know-how to take care of the matter.

“After 6:00 I’m always alone at work. My employees always call it a day right on time!”

Your employees are observing the Working Time Act and are therefore doing as their contract states. The working hours and the length of the work are stipulated in the work contract, and the number of overtime hours cannot exceed a certain limit either. Reproaching your employees for adhering to the rules is inappropriate. Also consider that many employees are there earlier in the morning than their superiors are.

“Just don’t make any mistakes!”

This sentence puts your staff under incredible pressure. Of course, you want as few mistakes to be made as possible. You can be sure, however, that your employees don’t make mistakes by choice, either. When mistakes happen, see it as something positive: You and your staff can learn something from it for the future. The more you put others under pressure to be perfect, the more mistakes will be made.

“I’m the boss! We do it my way – end of discussion!”

Let your employees know why you make certain decisions. Making a decision about something that affects everyone just because of your position can seem very discouraging. Your staff want to be able to understand why certain processes are the way they are. Give your employees the chance to find meaning in their work and get them involved.

“I don’t need your help.”

As a manager, you should learn early on how to delegate. If you constantly reject your employees’ help, you’ll rob them of the meaning of their work. Why are the staff there if they can’t take on any duties? Let your employees help you when they offer you help. That way you’ll signalize “You’re important to me”.

“You can be happy you even have a job!”

Ouch! This sentence isn’t appealing to anyone as it immensely devalues the position of your own work. This statement signalizes that you as an employer are not satisfied with your staff’s work and are therefore not of the opinion that the person in question would find new employment quickly. In addition, you show as an employer that you don’t really care about the concerns of your staff. It signalizes your perception that they should be happy to be allowed to work for you. Looking at the current labour market, this statement is doubly tragic because in many sectors, workers who are well qualified can choose the best out of several jobs. So don’t drive your employees out with such statements.

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