Prohibited Words That Can Kill Employee Motivation

No noWords are a key part of a persuasive communication, says Darlene Price. Business leaders make use of words to influence their teams and compel them to attain results. They’re leaders because the words that come out of their mouths are meant to have an impact. If your wish is to be seen as an influential CEO at the workplace, make sure that you choose your words cautiously.  Don’t kill employee motivation and try to convey credibility, clarity, and confidence.

“I assume”

Don’t allow your employees ‘assume’ anything. The word denotes weakness and it shouldn’t be part of your employees’ vocabulary. How can they be motivated if they ‘assume’ they can make a difference? Help them replace the phrase with “I am confident that…” and you’ll manage to boost their self-esteem. CEO, executives, and managers, are both leaders and teachers. Their goal should be to help their team get rid of their insecurities with phrases like “I assume” and “I believe”.

Name calling – “he’s a jerk”

Name-calling is the easiest way to get fired. Such phrases denote a juvenile behavior that’s packed with immature thoughts. The language is extremely liable, and in 90% of the cases it will get you laid-off immediately. Stop making judgmental statements because they will only affect your reputation. Rather than be a jerk, it’s a lot better to solve the problem with neutrality, tact, and consideration.

“I’m busy”

How can you help your employees gain confidence if they can’t reach you? This phrase can kill their enthusiasm and they won’t have the courage to come to you and express their ideas anymore. Executives and CEOs are busy, there’s no doubt about that, but you can say that in a more delicate way. Rather that shout that you’re busy, you can approach the matter in a whole different way. “Great ideas! I would love to hear more, but can we talk after 4 pm?” sounds a lot more encouraging, doesn’t it?

“We can’t do that”

Are you sure there’s no other way? Such negative phrases have the tendency to convey a passive, hopeless, and pessimistic approach to the matter. It’s seldom appreciated by employees because they feel they’re not being given any chances to test their ideas. If you don’t agree and you want to reject their concepts, do it gently. Say something like “I could work, but why don’t we try this…” Give your employees hope and let them know you appreciate their thoughts.

“Why didn’t you…”

“Why didn’t you do that?” and “Why didn’t you go there?” are questions that can put a lot of pressure on your employees. They’re fault-finding words that inflict feelings of finger pointing and blame. A well-organized workplace should be based on teamwork, equality, and collaboration. Rather than make your team feel guilty, you can always adopt a non-judgmental attitude. “Next time, bring the matter to my attention straight away to avoid future incidents” is a great alternative. The phrase doesn’t sound too authoritative, but it’s still meant to help employees pay more attention.

“That’s unfair…”

Life is unfair, so if your colleague got a promotion and you didn’t, it doesn’t mean you can start complaining. Injustice is everywhere at the office, and it’s important to deal with it. Maybe the manager had a very good reason to promote your coworker and not you. Don’t lose your motivation and stay focused on the job. Good work is appreciated, and sooner or later your boss will realize that you’re a hardworking employee and a valuable member of his team.

“No, I won’t do that”

That’s not very nice to say, especially if your boss asked you politely to do something. Rudeness in the office might happen between co-workers, but you can’t afford to behave like that in front of your superiors. Whatever they ask, you have to do if you want to keep your job.

There are so many words and phrases that shouldn’t exist at the workplace, that it’s impossible to highlight them all. Employees want to feel encouraged and motivated, but to do that they must abide by the rules. A positive attitude in the office, determination to learn from the best, and patience, are features every employee should master.

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