June 28, 2023, Comment off

Words NOT to Use as a Manager

As a manager, monitoring what you say to your employees is important. You want to maintain boundaries while encouraging your team to remain open-minded, creative, and innovative.

What you say to your employees can have long-term effects. Therefore, there are words you should avoid using when talking with your team. The following are seven of these words.

As a manager, these are words NOT to use when talking with your employees.


Avoid telling an employee something can’t be done. Using the word can’t doesn’t encourage your team to be creative and innovative when solving problems.

Instead, explain why something may be difficult to carry out. Approaching an issue in this way provides context for the bigger picture.

Discussing why a certain approach might be challenging leads to better relationships with your employees. This type of communication also opens up opportunities to come up with ways to resolve the issues.


Avoid simply turning down an employee’s request. Using the word no usually is perceived as being negative. In some cases, the word also may feel disrespectful.

Instead, share your reasoning behind your answer. Explaining your decision facilitates understanding of and respect for your answer.


Avoid telling an employee they are wrong about something. Saying an employee is wrong shows close-minded thinking. Also, this approach often results in the employee feeling angry about their intelligence being questioned.  

Keep in mind that most issues do not have clearly defined boundaries for what is right or wrong. Rather, there are nuances of what is correct or incorrect. As a result, there likely is a degree to truth to what your employee said.


Avoid saying it was an employee’s fault that something happened. Placing blame can result in disengagement, reduced performance, and lower productivity.

Regularly blaming your employees for issues can lead to resentment within your team. As a result, your employees likely will start looking for jobs with other companies.

Instead, talk with your team about mistakes as they happen. Also, work with your employees to correct the issues.

Discuss what your team learned from the experience. Include how they can do things differently going forward.


Avoid saying never about anything. Using this word closes off possibilities for the future.

Keep in mind you cannot see the future. Therefore, focus on using words with more positive connotations that inspire creativity and innovation.


Avoid telling an employee that something is stupid. Even if you are referring to an idea rather than a person, the use of the word stupid can be taken personally.

Instead, choose words that encourage going in a different direction than the one suggested. Using more supportive language inspires brainstorming for new ideas.


Avoid saying that something is impossible. Although something may be unlikely, there probably are times when it happened.

Instead, consider sharing why the likelihood of something happening is very low. Provide your reasoning behind your statement.

Remain open to discussion about the topic. Your employee just might have a way to resolve the issue.

Do You Need Help with Hiring?

Understanding which words not to use as a manager helps facilitate open communication with your team. Knowing how to focus on more positive language helps inspire your employees to remain open-minded, creative, and innovative.

If you need help hiring HR professionals, get in touch with Arlington Resources. Reach out today.