The last thing you can afford to do is disconnect from your team.
But, if that’s what you want to do, go right ahead. Say:
1.“Why didn’t you …?” This immediately diverts listeners’ attention away from the job and instead focuses them into coming up with an excuse for why they failed. Putting your employee in this mindset means you’ll be hearing more excuses.
Instead, ask, “How can we do this better next time?”
2.“You should have …” Well, why not just use a whip?
Instead, try a variation of the “do better” response:
“If this comes up again, how would you handle it differently?”
Supposing you still get a crazy answer, gently suggest why that might not work and tell employees what you’d rather have them do.
3.“Do you understand?” First off, your employees are not children, even if it sometimes appears that way. If you patronize them, they’ll shut down.
Second, nobody wants to admit being confused—especially if they’re trying to impress you.
Better: “Does that make sense?” or “This is tricky. Should I explain it more clearly?”
— Adapted from “The 3 Worst Phrases a Leader Can Utter When Trying to Coach the Team,” Eddy Ricci, Entrepreneur.