Cracking the code on company culture can be tough. And, once you’ve got a good culture rolling, the last thing you want is for that culture to be tarnished by “bad apples” or team members who are bucking the flow.

This is intended to be a light-hearted piece, but there’s some seriousness here, too. If you hear any of these phrases in your company, don’t ignore them. They’re fire starters and should be dealt with immediately.  

So, without further ado … I present to you my list of sayings that will kill company culture, fast.


We’ve all been around these people at some point in our lives. They’re the “Negative Nancies” who always have something to say about something. If you hear “that will never work” in your office — beware. This type of negativity can move swiftly through a company if not remedied immediately.

Here’s a great article from Forbes on how to motivate the Negative Nancy in your office.


Have you met this person? They’re the team member that isn’t really a team player. They’re at work to accomplish one goal: getting through the day without doing anything more than what’s required of them. This type of behavior not only squashes company culture, but it also obliterates team building.

Here’s an article I wrote about how leaders can build a truly collaborative team environment.


If you’re hearing this phrase at work, it’s time to re-look your management style before it’s too late. The best company cultures foster innovation through team member empowerment. Your team should feel like all ideas are good ideas. That all creativity is welcome. Don’t let team members sit on great ideas because they feel they won’t be supported.

Of course, you could also read these 5 ways to truly empower your sales force.


This one could be a combination of the Negative Nancies and the “this might be stupid, but…” people. When you’re hearing “we’ve always done it this way,” your team members and coworkers are saying a few things. One, they are hesitant to change. And, two, they’re not really motivated to think outside the box.

If you’re trying to foster a company culture of innovation, this phrase will kill company culture — and fast.

Here’s a great article from Forbes on how to make “thinking outside the box” more common in your workplace.


What are some of the ways that you’re trying to boost company culture at your workplace? I’d love to hear how some of my fellow commercial real estate and tech folks are implementing strategies focused on culture.

Let’s carry the conversation over to my LinkedIn page. I’d love to hear from you!