6 Phrases to Eliminate From Your Management Vocabulary

Management is a different ballgame.  Where front-line workers may have been given a great deal of autonomy when they can be trusted to do the job well, managers must juggle numerous complex and sometimes conflicting relationships.

If any of these phrases are popping up in your management vocabulary, delete them – and then ask yourself how to keep them from appearing again:

  1. “Just figure it out.” Leaving your staff to their own devices raises their stress levels if they’re genuinely stuck, and it runs the risk of landing you with an indefensibly poor product. If you want staff to “connect the dots” on their own, phrase your request with guidance attached: “I’d like you to handle this yourself.  I recommend using resources X, Y, and Z to begin.”
  2. “I received an anonymous report….” Focusing on the report will make your employee wonder who “snitched” – and forget the problem behavior. Skip where you heard it or who said it, and focus on what needs to change and how the employee must change it.
  3. “You’re doing fine.” Just as you wouldn’t tell a struggling employee “get better” without explaining how, don’t tell standout employees they’re “doing fine” without explaining how – and helping them see how their weaknesses could be shored up further.
  4. “Just do what I tell you to do.” In a crunch, you occasionally need people to simply do their work and ask questions later. As a rule, however, people always do better work when they understand the context for the requests being made of them.  Promote “thinking through” problems and ownership of the results by providing context and rationale for expected tasks.
  5. “What’s wrong with you?” Even if you’re thinking it, don’t say it. Any type of comment that can be read as a personal attack will immediately raise the employee’s stress, frustration, and anger – effectively preventing them from learning from the situation.  Focus on the issue, not the person.
  6. “Your job is what I say it is.” In a sense, this is true; because you set the job duties for your employees, their jobs are what you say they are. But when a role needs to broaden or change, it is crucial to the team’s motivation and productivity to explain why the change matters.

At Marquee Staffing, our recruiters help companies throughout SoCal find, train, and keep the management talent they need to thrive in a competitive marketplace.  Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in Southern California.

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