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What Not to Say If You’re The Boss

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

After Donald Sterling’s racist comments and removal from all involvement in the NBA, it’s more important than ever for bosses to monitor what they say and how they say it. Words have power, and in order to be an effective leader, there are certain things you just DON’T say - especially if you’re at the helm of a successful business.

The following is a list of what not to say if you’re the boss.

  • “You’ll Never Be Good At….” As a boss and mentor, it’s important to remember that your employees look to you for positive reinforcement and guidance. If you notice employees are struggling at a certain task, support them with continuing education and recommend resources that will help with improvement. If you’ve given up on an employee, it’s better to let the person go than use negative tactics as motivation.
  • “You’re Too Valuable In Your Current Role to Promote” People are driven by meeting challenges and growing in their roles. If you pigeon hole good employees into particular roles, you better believe they’ll be looking elsewhere for a job with a work environment that offers more upward mobility. You’ll build a more loyal team if you recognize strengths and reward them accordingly.
  • “Just Figure It Out” When employees need help or have questions, it’s your job to coach them.  You don’t necessarily have to give them all the answers, but you don’t want to leave them without direction either. Offer advice and guidance so that they can eventually find the information on their own.
  • Anything Discriminatory, Defamatory or Threatening  If you can’t control your emotions, you probably have no place running a business. It’s important to set a tone of mutual respect among your employees and customers to ensure the continued growth and success of your business - and to avoid a lawsuit. Donald Sterling learned that lesson the hard way.
  • To Say Nothing At All As the boss, it’s your job to guide your team. If you offer nothing in terms of support or feedback, your business will suffer.

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