Being a leader is not just about ordering people around getting things done. It’s also about keeping people motivated and passionate about their goals. Lack of motivation, indiscipline or just plain resistance to following orders may sometimes get on your nerves.

Even so, there are some things that no leader should ever say to his team, no matter how hard things get.  Here are 7 such discouraging phrases that all bosses should refrain from saying to employees.

‘I’m Too Busy’

It goes without saying that a fancy job title comes with its own set of responsibilities. However, it is never okay to tell employees that you cannot meet with them to discuss something. Effective management includes being approachable and open to discussion. If it really isn’t a good time for you to talk, set up a meeting for a later hour. Never decline a request to

‘Don’t Argue With Me’

Never reprimand your employees for opposing your views. Instead, accept the fact that you might be wrong from time to time. Listen to the opinions of your employees and figure out where the conflict of views is occurring. You may end up learning something new without completely discouraging your employee from speaking up in future.

‘I Pay You, You Have To Listen To Me’

This statement simply comes off as dictatorial. Threatening your employees will neither earn you their respect nor loyalty. Instead, it will lead to pressure and fear. If there is something that needs doing, inspire, encourage and teach your staff to do it. In fact, if you leadership skills are effective, you will never really feel the need to threaten.


‘It’s Always Been This Way’

A good boss can never be resistant to change. If an employee comes up with a great new way to do something, don’t shut him down just because things have been happening a certain way for a long time. Trying new things can lead to creativity and innovation which bodes well for any company.

 ‘Your Work Is Incorrect, You’re Doing A Terrible Job’

This is the single most discouraging phrase that could be doled out to employees. It will completely shake their confidence and motivation. Instead, communicate your expectations with your employee and supplement any criticism with the right training and instructions.


‘Your Work Is Fine, You’re Doing An Okay Job’

On the flipside, telling employees that their work is okay will lead to complacency and reduced effort. When an employee asks you for feedback, he is essentially looking to improve and grow. So, give him a chance to learn through your feedback by being thorough and providing areas for improvement.

‘This Is My Company’

As true as that might be, entrepreneurs need to understand that their team is their strongest asset. Showing respect and making them feel like an important cog in your organization will only boost productivity.  Plus, if you have to remind people that you are in charge, you aren’t really doing a great job as leader.

As the boss, you have all the power but a huge amount of responsibility as well. It is always easy to coerce and threaten when you’re at the top but it’s much better to guide and lead by example.

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Reader, writer, pizza lover and blogger: Sunakshi is all of these things. She believes language is the best thing invented by man and has a passionate new-word-learning fetish. Even though she is forever in a dilemma between weight loss and food love, her love for books surpasses all other addictions.


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