Just like parents at home, leaders are the role model in an organisation. They become the first place to run to when something is going wrong. Their actions and words have a substantial influence on the business and team. For these reasons, leaders should demonstrate appropriate behaviour and attitude, possibly at all times.
As a leader, it is inevitable that your words hold an enormous weight to employees, such that saying the wrong terms or expressions can ruin someone’s day and even lower their motivation and morale for the longer run. Leaders, unfortunately, often say something that discourages conversation between them and employees, resulting in miscommunication. What are those words? Here are the 5 most common phrases leaders often say that gives the opposite meaning to what’s intended.
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I’ll try to help you.
I’ll try to talk to you at 9 pm.
I’ll try to attend our one-on-one meeting.
If you find yourself often say I’ll try in the end or at the beginning of a sentence, it indicates that you are not professional in your career.
When you tell your people that you “try” to do something, your words will likely run through a translation filter tells the other person that you might not get it done which will make you look unprofessional. As a leader you should not leave a hope to hang in the ceiling, you should commit to yourself and say the exact thing.
Try instead: If you should talk one-on-one then say when and where. If you want to help, then say “I will help you” then provide the plan. If you cannot do that, say you can’t but will find a way to do it.
It might sound casual but the person who receives it might think differently from what you intended. They might perceive it as a threat and lead to negative thoughts such as ‘Did I do something wrong during a meeting?’ or ‘Is he going to fire me?’ resulting in a mess emotional condition. And when the fear is real, it will result in lower confidence throughout the day.
Try instead: You can change it to a more specific detailed phrase such as, “Please stop by my office. I need to discuss the latest project we had.” This kind of phrases will likely give readiness and confidence for the recipient to meet you.
What do you think when you hear the phrase “Please send it to me if you’d like to read my feedback before you publish it”? It sounds normal but if you pay attention closely, this suggestive phrase sounds more like a threat than advice. The word “if you’d like” can be perceived as ‘you don’t have to come to me but if you think I matter, you should seek advice from me’ way of thinking.
Try instead: When you give a suggestion, be mindful with your words. Hence, don’t say if you’d like me to give advice but say I’d like you to consult me before publishing.
While employees are required to be able to think critically about problems they encounter, saying this will violate your rule as a guide, coach, and role model. Remember, you are not only their boss but you should also be their coach and lead them to success. Thus, do clarify expectations by giving available resources or show a hint and let the employees try their best.
Try instead: “I hope you can handle this on your own. I know you can do that. Here are the resources you need. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have more questions.”
You should try to be more caring and helpful as a leader because that’s what employees need – leaders who put people first.
While this phrase gives good intention that solutions matter most, it would discourage individuals to speak up the hardest problem that they don’t know how to solve yet. Thusly, employees will keep the problem for themselves and give more burden to his thoughts. This, later, can also lead to severe stress and illness.
Try instead: You should not discourage your employees and give harder pressure. You should increase the efficiency and productivity by letting people speak up their problem and make it possible for everyone in a team to work together to come up with meaningful solutions. Say that you will hear their complaints then empower them and the whole member to come up with a better solution.
“Remember that it is all about what individuals see and hear more than what you intend to do or say. Be clear and concise when conveying your message.”
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