Labels are things that most of us have grown up around. We also tend to use labels for those we work with. The labels can often become us and we become them. It is even more imperative for a leader to not assign label. A blog post by Terri Klass Consulting highlights why leaders should avoid labels:
- Labels don’t describe people precisely enough. Labels can come across as “judgy”. They do not describe a person’s capabilities. They also do not reflect the value that someone brings to a project.
- Labels can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Labels cause people to perform at the level the label prescribes. If the person’s label is average, they will turn in average work. You want them to rise to outstanding work so avoid the labels.
- Labels can create stigmas. When leaders assign labels, these labels can spread to other employees and other departments. Outside individuals may believe these labels and it can cause stigma.
- Labels can bring a team and an organization down. When there are labels, people will rely on the same people to do the same work. Team members will not be allowed to grow because they are always doing the same thing. They may be afraid to try new things.