The things that we say as leaders can either build up our people or tear them down. Sometimes, we think what we’re saying is uplifting when the saying is actually damaging.
Our words matter. They can matter more than our actions. Our words are that powerful.
4 Sayings Leaders Need To Stop Saying
We get caught in a rut of saying specific phrases or words we’re accustomed to. They’ve begun to become part of our lexicology.
But, our words often become outdated, transformed, or harmful. All of these things happen in the leadership world, too.
The sayings we’ve used for years are no longer appropriate. The terms hurt those we lead. We’ve got to do better.
Here are 4 sayings leaders need to stop saying…
1. Man up:
Man up has been used to tell people to hold it together. You’ve got to be a man and deal with the situation.
There’s a problem with this.
The workforce is no longer a male-dominated arena. In fact, the workplace hasn’t been that way for quite a long time.
Let’s stop using Man Up when we talk to our teams. Instead, you might tell them to handle the situation like an adult. This gives them the opportunity to think about what actions they would need to take to deal with a situation appropriately.
2. Lead, follow, or get out of my way:
This is a quote many people use to encourage people to lead, fall in line, or to stay away from them. It’s never been a great quote.
People like the quote because the quote seems to the point and pushes a person to go in a direction they would choose. You’re giving the person a choice to lead, follow, or step aside, right?
I don’t think so.
Instead, this quote can be interpreted to tell the person that it’s the leader’s way or no way. There’s no room for someone who disagrees.
Instead of Lead, follow, or get out of my way, let’s begin saying Help me, watch me, or is there a better fit for you somewhere else?
3. Grin and bear it, folks!:
Times are tough. They’re lean, and people are feeling the burn. You’re having your team burn the midnight oil and working extra hours.
There’s a strain on them, so you tell them to buckle up, buttercup, or grin and beat it! We will get through this as long as we continue to move forward.
Grin and bear it doesn’t do it for me. I doubt it does for you, either. The thought of continuing to trudge forward without encouragement will bring a feeling of defeat to your team.
Let’s think about other things you could say to your team. I think something along the lines of It’s tough out there. We can do it together. Let’s go! would work better.
4. Here’s your ultimatum…:
Ultimatums had their time. You had to give your employees a harsh choice. You had to take a hard line.
That’s not the way to lead these days. Things have changed dramatically.
Instead, help your team members understand the choices they have and how they will affect their future employment. It’s not easy to walk people through these things, but you’re a leader. One of your roles is to help grow people.
You can do this by helping them grow and understand their choices. Give them choices, not ultimatums.