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9 Phrases That Immediately Expose Weak Leaders For Who They Are

Source | | Terina Allen

Regrettably, I know these people. More than likely, you do too. We’ve heard about them, worked with them, worked for them, and some of us (me included) have had the misfortune of hiring them. Weak leaders damage organizational culture. They demoralize high-performing teams, and they create chaotic and toxic work environments where every employee is asked to pay too high a price.

We know them from their behaviors, and we know them for how they speak. Even if you’ve never worked for them, you can learn to spot weak leaders by just listening to how they speak and the phrases they use when communicating with others. If you’re attuned to the messaging, you can easily start to pick them out of the crowd or – better yet – spot the signs during an interview, and remove them from your candidate pool.

These nine phrases immediately expose weak leaders for who they are.

1. Mistakes were made.

This one just makes me cringe inside. There is absolutely nothing – and I do mean nothing – in this statement that assures anyone that any real person will ever be held responsible for making the mistake. When you say “mistakes were made,” you are part of the problem because not only are you refusing to take responsibility for the mistake, you are refusing to even identify what the specific mistake is. The phrase is weak and – if you use it – you look weak. People listening are left thinking that some unknowable, nebulous person somewhere in the universe made mistakes, but you won’t identify exactly who this person is or what was done wrong.

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