Monday, 6 August 2018

5 Toxic Words To Avoid

The words a leader uses really, really matter. Even something said in jest or in the moment can stick with an employee for a long time.

1. Can’t

Never say something can’t be done – it’s harsh and often untrue.

Instead, explain why something can be difficult to execute. So, rather than, “we can’t record assessments in that way,” say “to get that information, we’d need to educate the entire team on a new approach to assessment.” That’ll provide more context and ultimately led to better relationships with your team.

2. No
Big clarification here – saying no is a big part of being a leader. Prioritization is essential. But, how you say no matters, and that’s by avoiding the actual word no.

“It's clear and to the point, but it's very often seen as too heavy, negative or even disrespectful,” Dewett said. “Instead, strive to offer a more informative comment about the decision that was made.”

3. Fault
This one is okay if you are talking earthquakes. But, telling someone something is “their fault” is a recipe for disengagement.

“Assigning fault might be necessary, but know that it's dangerous,” Dewett said. “The key is to be succinct, focused more on the team more than any one individual when possible, and framed positively.”

4. Never
A rule PR folks teach politicians – never say never. Well, same goes for leaders.

“When talking about the future, this word almost always feels like a door slammed in someone's face,” Dewett said. “It can reduce hope and thus motivation. You can't see the future, so let's resist saying never.”

5. Impossible
This is similar to never. And it’s rarely true – two hundred years ago, the idea of someone flying across the country at 40,000 feet at speeds of 550 mph seemed impossible. Now, it happens all the time.

“I'll admit that all of these words in small doses, framed constructively, are just fine,” Dewett said. “But remember, don't overindulge in their use and don't use them with a heavy, negative tone. Your words matter, so try to err on positive word choices if you really want people to listen.”

No comments:

Post a Comment