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6 Subtle Morale-Busting Phrases That Execs and Managers Say

Source |  |  BY:Lisa Mckale


When it comes to the morale-busting things managers say, you know some of the main offenders already.

Some of them are harsh:

  • “I don’t care what you think, I just want it done.”
  • “If you don’t want this job, I can find someone else to do it.”
  • “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Some are more passive-aggressive:

  • “There’s really nothing I can do.”
  • “I need more people who work like me.”
  • “I didn’t see that coming.”

Those are pretty obvious.

But there are more subtle phrases you could be using and not realize they’re killing morale. Here are six you want to avoid:

‘I’ll handle it.’

An employee knocks tentatively on your door with a plea, “When you have a minute, I need some help finishing our expense reports.”

You’ve had a long day and are up to your neck in work, so the last thing you have time for is helping someone else! So you sputter, “Just leave it here … I’ll handle it.”

You might argue that you’re doing the employee a favor – finishing his work for him – but this response just deflates an employee’s esteem.

Remember that when employees ask for help, they’re courageously admitting they don’t always know everything – and you do, because you’re the boss. So it’s more morale-boosting to respond to what they’re asking for, not to imply they don’t know how to do a job themselves.


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