If you’ve ever had a bad boss, you probably have a litany of sentences tucked away in your memory that stand out as the red flags that made that manager so terrible to work for. Here are more of the leading offenders.
“This is the way we’ve always done things.”
This is management-speak for “I don’t like change.” Hey, change IS scary. But just because you’ve done something the same way for years doesn’t mean there’s not a better way. Examine your own hesitations along with the validity of a proposal.
“I’ll take that under advisement.”
Translated: “I don’t really care what you think, and I’m going to carry on doing what I’m doing as if you never expressed an opinion at all.” Rather than give someone lip service or false hope that their thoughts have been heard, why not try really hearing them. You could just as easily say something along the lines of, “Thank you; you’ve given me a lot to think about.”
“I got an anonymous complaint…”
Anonymous complaints are the spark that can light a conflagration of interoffice politics and resentment. By calling it out, you’re signaling to your employees that either you want to find out who made the complaint or you want them to — and if it was made anonymously, there’s probably a reason. Avoid mentioning that someone made a complaint at all, if possible, and take the burden on yourself by saying something like, “I’ve noticed,” or “It’s come to my attention,” to avoid creating a scapegoat.
“Just figure it out.”
This sort of managing is both unkind and lazy. If it really is something that an employee should address on their own, you could point out the resources he or she has at their disposal or the training they can rely on.
“Sounds like a personal problem.”
Personal problems become work problems when they start to affect an employee’s performance. If someone is routinely coming in late or missing work because of a problem at home, that problem has become your problem. A good manager will help employees brainstorm solutions rather than just throwing it back at them and expecting them to manage it on their own.