8 Things Every Leader Should Say

8 Things Every Leader Should Say

JJ Lynch 

As a leader what you say tells as much about your leadership skills as what you do.

Using the right words at the right time will increase the odds of your success and the success of your business.

Not sure what to say?

Here are 8 phrases/words every leader should use:

1. What do you think?

Four very empowering words. Four words that show we are interested, that we are keen to listen.

When we listen we make others feel important.

2. No

It’s not easy to say “no”.

The best leaders do – when they have to.

3. Tell me more

Successful leaders are inquisitive.

Being open to all feedback creates a culture of healthy discussion, feedback and innovation.

4. Here’s why

Getting people to agree with your decisions or request to complete certain tasks is often less about what the decision or request is and more about providing a reason why. Explaining “here is why I have made this decision” or “here is why I am asking you to do this” can be very powerful.

5. I don’t know

Three simple little words – yet so very powerful. These words are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of power. They show our vulnerability – and others love to see that we are vulnerable because it means we are just like them –  we are human.

In a wonderful TED talk, Brene Brown says “what makes us vulnerable makes us beautiful”. So, so true.

Here’s a wonderful example of a leader showing vulnerability: (click on the image)

6. Why? 

“Why” gives us the purpose, the reason.

The one-word “Why?” question is the most powerful question anyone can ask.

The best leaders always ask “Why?”

7. I’m sorry

If you have made a mistake, say so.

Once someone says “I’m sorry” there’s very little comeback.

8. Thank you. 

Max de Pree says “the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.”

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(Leading Edge Leadership work with leaders and managers in a range of businesses and organisations who are leaders in their field.)

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