Think you’re being supportive and engaging? Think again. You may have alienated everyone in the room.Whether you’re a first-time manager or a seasoned CEO, you need to be careful what you say to your team and how you say it. Some of us have learned the hard way that even when we think we’re communicating effectively, we may be inadvertently sending the wrong message.
To aid you in your conference room pronouncements, the Intergalactic Business Report presents you with six common boss-to-employee phrases you may not realize are toxic.
COMMON PHRASE ONE:
“That was a missed opportunity, Brian.”
WHY IT’S TOXIC: This is a passive aggressive way of blaming someone and criticizes him for something he can no longer correct. A “missed opportunity” is something that is gone forever and doesn’t serve as a productive message for an employee to improve.
SAY THIS INSTEAD: “Good work, Brian. I have an idea for how next time you could make it even better. Do you want to hear?”
COMMON PHRASE TWO:
“Did you just make eye contact with me, Brian? You know that’s not acceptable. Unless you're challenging me to a fight?”
WHY IT’S TOXIC. Making eye contact with your boss should probably not be grounds for fighting. Especially if you have never warned your employees about this rule.
SAY THIS INSTEAD: “Brian? I notice you are making eye contact with me. I appreciate that you are trying to connect and show you are listening, but in the future, please look down or look away in our interactions. Otherwise, I may become violent.”
COMMON PHRASE THREE:
“Everyone here knows Brian will fuck a watermelon if you leave him alone in a room with one.”
WHY IT’S TOXIC. You don’t know Brian’s sexual habits or appetites and even if you did, it would not be appropriate to talk about this in front of a group of his co-workers.
SAY THIS INSTEAD: “Brian? Can you please meet me in the other room so we can talk about how you fuck watermelons?”
COMMON PHRASE FOUR:
“I think this is the fourth or fifth time I’ve noticed Brian just sitting over there with his thumb up his ass like he’s just waiting for this meeting to end so he can pull it out and taste it.”
WHY IT’S TOXIC. Brian’s thumb is none of your business. If he wants to put it up his ass and sit there like a fucking clown all meeting, just let him do it. You’ll get your revenge on him. It’s just a matter of time.
SAY THIS INSTEAD: “Hey Brian! I know what you’re doing. Not going to say anything. But I know.” (Then just pantomime to the group something where you put your thumb up your ass and then pull it out and taste it).
COMMON PHRASE FIVE:
“Brian is fired for being a buttfucker. Not in the gay way though.”
WHY IT’S TOXIC. This is a tricky one because you did a good job distinguishing firing Brian for being a colloquial buttfucker versus something homophobic. This will protect you legally. Still, you don’t want to risk any misunderstanding so tone it down a bit.
SAY THIS INSTEAD: “I would like to announce to the group that Brian is not being fired for buggery of any kind. He is, however, being fired for being a fucking buttfucker.”
COMMON PHRASE SIX:
“Brian sucks monkey dicks.”
WHY IT’S TOXIC. Brian does suck monkey dicks, and that’s what makes this one tough. He is such a monkey dick sucker and yet you need to hold back and not tell everyone that this is what Brian does. Sometimes in life, you just have to sit there and watch some monkey dick sucker act like he doesn’t suck monkey dicks.
SAY THIS INSTEAD: “Brian sucks monkey cocks.” Stand your ground. We guess.
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