Things Great Leaders Wouldn’t Say (and What to Say Instead)

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source: senatormccaskill (flickr)

In any environment, especially in the workplace, leadership is very important. For anyone in any type of managerial role, it’s important that they carry themselves in the right way, showing their strengths as a leader. It’s just as important for anyone else to try their best to lead the way in any form or fashion that they can. However, while it’s important to do and say the right things in any type of leadership role, this doesn’t always happen in the way that it should.

If you’re like me, you’ve seen plenty of cases where leadership appears to be a bit strange based on things that are said. Here are some examples that I would like to share with you of things that great leaders shouldn’t ever say, and what they should say instead.

  1. “Because I Said So” – This isn’t a very smart thing to say to employees because it sends the wrong message, as it appears to be lazy and immature. If a ruling or decision is being made, employees are likely to be much more understanding if they’ve been given a specific reason. A smart boss would say “I made this decision because…” and explain why.
  2. “We’ve Always Done It This Way” – This is another statement that can be a common trend in the working world, and it goes back to being a bit lazy. Times change, and employees will have innovative and interesting ideas to share with management. On management’s end, it’s good to be receptive and consider all ideas from employees. A good leader would say “tell me more,” and be receptive to all ideas and suggestions.
  3. “Just Figure It Out” – If an employee is asking someone in a leadership role a question, there’s a reason for it. There’s no reason to tell them to simply “figure it out,” because it will give the employee the impression that you don’t care, and it certainly won’t strengthen the work relationship. Instead, it’s important for leaders to show that they’re always willing to work with someone, help out, and take charge. Instead of saying “figure it out,” something like “let’s take a look” would work much better. From there, sitting down with that person and assessing the problem or situation would go a long way in showcasing one’s leadership qualities.
  4. “That’s A Bad Idea” – I’ve seen this myself many times over the years, unfortunately. When collaborating with others, it’s never a good idea to tell someone that their idea is poor, because as a leader, this will ensure that employees rarely, if ever from that point forward, bring up new ideas. In a brainstorming session, for example, be receptive to all ideas, no matter how strong weak they are, because for the latter, you can often shape them into something better. Try asking to hear more about the idea, and what their reasoning is for the idea.
  5. “Track Your Hours” – This is a tough one, and it’s one that a great leader would never resort to. As a leader, trust in those working for you, and trust in the quality of their work. Instead of having an obsessive time tracking system, simply say to them instead, “here is what we need done, and I know that you’ll do a great job.” This just lays the situation out for them, while instilling confidence in people at the same time.

In your opinion, what’s one thing that someone in a leadership role should never say? Business owners and those in a managerial position with any leadership role should consider taking advice from those who have proven to be leaders in the past, too.

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