LEADERSHIP / JUL. 19, 2013
version 1, draft 1

Things Managers Should Never Say to their Staff

There are many phrases and words that employees should avoid within the workplace, however, there are also certain phrases and behaviors that managers should avoid when dealing with their staff. A happy work force is a productive work force, and by causing upset or offense to your staff, you will only detriment the overall productivity of the company. 

The following phrases are examples of what should be avoided by management when talking to staff:

  1. “If you don’t want this job you can go elsewhere”
  2.  “I don’t pay you to think”
  3. “I don’t want to hear it, just do it”
  4. “Who gave you permission to do that?”
  5. “Stop what you are doing and sort this now”
  6. “Don’t bring me problems, just being me solutions”
  7. “I don’t want to hear your personal problems”
  8. “Everyone thinks that….”
  9. “You should be lucky to even have this job”
  10. “You are not irreplaceable”
  11. “Can you go out and buy me lunch?”
  12. “Can you skip your lunch to meet this deadline?”
  13. “That was stupid of you…”
  14. “Are you incapable of doing this?”
  15. “We will talk about these faults in your appraisal"


Although the above list is not exclusive, they are examples of the types of phrases and words that are inappropriate when talking to your staff. Even in the most relaxed working environments, a manger should remain professional, impartial, and approachable to their staff, thus building a content and productive work force.

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