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One phrase to avoid with staff

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Do you want to enrage employees—and damage your relationship with them? If you don’t, avoid saying that something is “not possible.” As in, “Increasing the budget is ‘not possible.’ ”

Reason: In your mind, you may be thinking that taking an action is simply something you don’t have the time, money, resources or willingness to do right now. However, when you say that phrase, two things typically happen: You demotivate employees or employees do everything in their power to prove you wrong. Either way, they lose focus, and their productivity suffers.

Better: Avoid the phrase, and instead provide an explanation about why you can’t move forward with an idea or plan.

Best: Use the phrase, but add “unless” to it, such as “It’s not possible, unless … .” Then detail everything that needs to happen before you can act. With that simple addition, you tell employees that you are open to the idea and you encourage them to get creative, problem solve and make changes that make it possible to put their ideas into action.

— Adapted from “Two Words That Kill Your Relationship With Employees,” Jill Schiefelbein, Entrepreneur, www.entrepreneur.com.

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