I wanted to share with you three things I have heard owners say that they should never say:
1. You did a good job. I hear this so often, but what does it mean? Your team doesn’t want to hear insincere, general comments like that. They want sincere, specific compliments. For example, they want to hear, “Jim, you did an awesome job at the Smith residence. There was not ONE detail you missed. The beds were perfect; the lines were crisp; heck, even the door mat was clean.” That’s a well-thought-out compliment that your team remembers and is sincere. It’s something they will share with others. Be a person who when you say something, you mean it.
2. I built this business from scratch. Really? You all by yourself? Ah, I don’t think so; you had help from a team of committed professionals on your payroll; your saying you built your business is an arrogant statement. Recognize your team each and every time you can. Say, “We built this business.”
3. I’m working hard so I can buy my wife/husband a new Lexus (or a second home or some other item that doesn’t have anything to do with the business). How does this help your team? Why should they help you make money to do this? Any type of self-aggrandizing comment isn’t appropriate. Your people are smart; they know you work hard and they can figure out if you do well, you may be able to buy some nice things. I just feel it’s better to be humble and not share things that don’t help them. How do you feel when someone is telling you about what they have? Be humble, be classy, keep your personal life to yourself. You don’t need to apologize for what your hard work has gotten you; you just don’t need to brag about it. It’s not healthy for your culture. Your team wants to hear you talk about doing things for them and making investments in the company that help them make more money and have a nicer place to work at.
Here’s the deal, folks; we are always being watched—always. And listened to, for that matter; more thought and consideration needs to go into what we say.