Monday, April 3, 2017

What not to say

I really enjoyed this article from last week, in Business Insider, about 11 sentences to avoid saying to your boss. Some of these are just painful to read. Here are a few highlights from the list, with my own commentary:

That can't be done

I recognize this as one of my personal trigger phrases. Yes, I know we are doing some tough work here, but that's part of the job. But I know you can do this. I wouldn't have asked you to do it if I didn't think you could do it.

We've always done it this way

Well, now we are going to do it a different way. Things change in technology; that's the nature of the industry. You know, we "always" used to run the mainframe to do critical work. And before that, we "always" used a paper-only process.

I'll quit

Thanks for letting me know. There's the door.

I'm quitting because I'm unhappy

Over my career, I've had a small handful of staff leave because they were unhappy. Some didn't like how their role was positioned; a few others didn't like the physical work environment. Almost anything can be changed around your work. If you are unhappy with how something is run in the office, please let me know. I will (and have) change things to make t hings better. Don't wait until you leave to tell me something isn't working right.

What should I do?

This is different than asking for coaching. If you need some direction, ask for advice. Don't ask me how to solve your problems, though. I hired you to tackle these issues, not keep asking me what to do.

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