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Executive Management: What Not To Say To Your Staff, Part III
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Executive Management: What Not To Say To Your Staff, Part III - Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Management: What Not To Say To Your Staff, Part III

Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Management: What Not To Say To Your Staff, Part III

In Parts I and II of this series, we listed phrases that Executive Leaders say either with good intentions or in the heat of the moment, both of which can leave their employees feeling dismissed and disappointed. In the third and final part of “What NOT to Say to Your Staff,” we will examine 3 things that Executive Leaders do—sometimes unconsciously, sometimes through misguided intentions—that actually communicate to their staff the opposite of what they intend.

  • 7. Sometimes it’s not what you say but what you do. Like all animals, human beings have an innate ability to pick up on the subtle, non-verbal cues that can convey a wealth of emotions and thoughts, from anger to skepticism to approval. This is true especially in the office, a place of established hierarchy and competition (friendly or otherwise), where employees are constantly gauging the responses and moods of Executive Leaders at the top of the food chain through both words and actions. Remember that when you are at the head of the pack your staff will always be sensitive to everything you do and they will be paying attention especially during those times when your words do not match your actions or, worse, when the only feedback you provide is passive aggressive body language. You may think this doesn’t happen, but some managers actually do roll their eyes when workers speak, and you can bet that those same employees will take away only that their manager disrespects them—no matter what he or she may say later.
  • 8. Liberal use of clichés and Management Speak. “Let’s think outside of the box!” “Let’s spearhead that project!” On the surface, you may be wondering why these seemingly innocuous phrases can be problematic, and if you only use them sparingly you would be right to question. However, those Executive Leaders whose daily project meetings include a healthy dose of clichés that they pulled directly from a management book—usually with the misguided intent of galvanizing their workers—may not realize that their employees may be rolling their eyes behind their back. The use of too much Management Speak can make you appear like a new, “green” manager, or like someone who relies heavily on obfuscation instead of a candid, no frills approach. Instead of leaning on clichés, cut straight to what you would like done in a clear and sincere manner.
  • 9. False sincerity. As we discussed in the first tip, people are skilled at judging nuance. For example, even if it seems like a nice thing to do or something that your manager’s guide encourages, do not ask your employee “How was your weekend?” if you honestly do not care. You would be surprised how quickly he or she will pick up on this. At best, your employee will think you are well-meaning but insincere. At worst, instead of fostering communication and camaraderie, you will accomplish the opposite.

With full awareness of the taboo phrases and actions deconstructed in this series, you will be equipped to navigate the tricky waters of manager-employee communications and be on your way to gaining your employees’ trust and, most importantly, their respect.

 

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Executive Management: What Not To Say To Your Staff, Part III - Executive Leadership Articles

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