“Don’t take this personally.”
“Don’t bring me a problem unless you bring me an answer.”
“We need to talk about that sometime.”
If you’ve ever uttered any or all of these comments, reconsider:
1. “Don’t take this personally.”
How else should you take a comment like that, delivered before a critique of your work? After all, who else did the work but you?
If a group, team, or entire department is responsible and deserves the critique, then the boss should be talking to all of them, right? If the comment is delivered to you personally, why would the speaker contradict himself and tell you not to pay attention to it?
Is the leader asking you to listen on behalf of someone else?
If so, should you respond on behalf of that other person? Or should you not respond at all and just relay the message?
2. “Don’t bring me a problem unless you bring me an answer.”
If you had the answers, it wouldn’t be a problem, now would it?