The difference between weak and strong leaders often has to do with their choice of words. There are some things strong leaders never say to employees, while other leaders have a habit of saying these same things.
What are things a strong leader should never say to an employee, and why? Here are seven things leaders never say to employees.
“This person does it better than you.”
Do you want your team to be in a rivalry instead of a relationship? Compare an employee to another to quickly turn team members against each other.
Remember, you’re all on the same team. Competition internally should be healthy. A strong leader should focus on how the employee can do things more effectively instead of suggesting another employee is better than the other. Acknowledge accomplishments, provide feedback on pitfalls, and treat individuals individually.
“Why? Because I’m Your Boss
Toxic leaders use their job title to gain respect and demand employees to do their job. Strong leaders encourage employees to ask “why” and challenge them to find a way to do things better.
Parents say maybe when they don’t want to say “no.” So do weak leaders. Strong leaders are direct and are not afraid of telling you something you don’t want to hear. They are also not afraid to recognize a strong idea, learn more about it, and fight for it. Instead of saying “Maybe….” and doing nothing, strong leaders take action.
“Let me do it.”
Strong leaders know that in order to get things done, they must trust their team and employees. They recognize that if they step in and do it themselves, the same mistakes will continue to be made by employees. Leaders teach with patience, instead of tackling everything they can.
“What were you thinking?”
Strong Leaders never punish mistakes, but rather embrace them. When people are punished for their mistakes, a person becomes timid and keeps them from being bold, fearless, and taking action on future ideas. By not encouraging bold action, a leader is prohibiting employees to go to a place where value is created for their organization.
“Yes or No.”
Leaders avoid close ended responses, and instead seek to gain an understanding and perspective of the issues at hand. They ask questions, and start out sentences with words like, “What” and “How.”
“Because that is the way we have always done it…”
Strong leaders never dismiss employee suggestions by sticking with traditional thinking. Saying, “because that is the way we have always done it” is a close minded way to dismiss an employee idea. Instead, leaders should take the time to explain why an employee suggestion is no good, and help the employee reach the same conclusion.
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