The kind of words we say to others directly affects them and can trigger negative or positive emotions. Emotional intelligence is the ability to discern the kind of words to use when communicating with others. Competency in emotional intelligence in the workplace demands that a manager understands the words and tone to use. Here is an overview of things that an emotionally intelligent leader should never say.


  • “I would like to empower you”

Whereas leaders should focus on empowering other people, they should never really say that to them. Telling someone that you want to empower them makes them feel demeaned and that their performance and abilities are dependent upon you. Such codependency kills every other form of self-motivation and innovativeness that the individual can elicit for progressive development.


  • “You look good in this outfit”

From a professional standpoint, this term constitutes sexual harassment. If you are a leader or manager have to compliment someone, such compliment should be based on professional work-related issues such as their performance. Complimenting an individual for appearances deviates from the essence for which they are there.


  • “You can do better”

Unfortunately, this is a commonly utilized phrase in the workplace that is so good at demotivating people on their progress and performance. The best way to motivate someone to perform better is to make reference to their past performances and show them that they can match the amazing job done before.


  • “It’s ok, don’t worry”

This phrase is commonly utilized when a leader tries to normalize a serious issue and make it look less serious. Telling an employee that it is ok when, in fact, it is not is a serious mistake that may encourage repetitious mistakes in the future. The best thing to do in such a case is to confront the issue, explain the mistakes made, and immediately come up with a long-term solution.


  • “Don’t bring personal issues at work”

It is a general tendency that personal issues that affect employees should not be shared at work and should not affect their performance. The unfortunate truth is that such personal issues will have an impact on the employees’ performance. Rather than scolding them when they are distressed, employees should be encouraged to share out their personal issues as part of coming up and emotional solution.