Behavior-based language primer for managers: Stop using generalizations

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If you manage people, one skill you need to develop is the conscious use of behavior-based language.  This is also known as performance-based language.  This is the first in a series discussing how to transition your language to be more behavior-based.

Behavior-based language is using language that attempts to describe specific behaviors, rather than language that makes generalizations or value judgments.  In today’s post, I’ll discuss a common management mistake: Using generalizations.

Examples of generalizations (or generalized language) a manager may use:

“You always show up late for work”

“You don’t seem to know what you’re doing.”

“You’re trying really hard, but it isn’t working out.”

“Your code isn’t up to par.”

“You’re doing a great job!”

“You’re doing a terrible job!”

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