Leaders have a pivotal role to play when it comes to keeping any business afloat. Not only are they entrusted with the well being and output of others, but they’re also custodians of corporate culture, and as such, their rhetoric and actions take on added significance within the workplace.
Language is a powerful tool for any leader, and, if leveraged appropriately, can go a long way towards shifting mindsets and motivating team members. Much like an artist uses paint to shape a canvas, leaders must dig into their lexicon if they’re to paint a positive picture within their space, drawing on powerful and persuasive dialogue to keep inspiration levels high.
But being a master of the spoken word doesn’t mean drawing on empty platitudes and widely quoted euphemisms – we’re looking at you Mr. ‘Let’s get the ball rolling’ and Ms. ‘Think outside the box.’ Ultimately, your corporate lingo needs to ring true and be echoed by your actions if it’s to result in any type of positive impact within your workforce.
So whilst you might not be the next Shakespeare or Martin Luther King, you can still tap into the vast reserves of the English language to make your point effectively. It needn’t be poetic or littered with impressive alliteration – your words will be most impactful if they’re authentic and communicate to your team members your full-fledged support of their efforts.
Are you ready to talk the talk? Here are a few key phrases to introduce into your leadership lexicon:
“I Trust Your Judgment”
Whilst your team will inevitably look to you for guidance from time to time, what they really want to know is that you trust them, and that you’re willing to give them the freedom to make their own decisions and act independently. If you treat your subordinates like leaders, they’re far more likely to act accordingly, so make sure to reinforce a message of trust as often as possible if you want to unleash the true potential of your business.
“I Don’t Know”
Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you have all the answers. In fact, by pretending to know it all, you’ll only end up doing your whole team a disservice. Not only will this type of approach result in a sense of disconnect within your ranks, but it’ll also inspire hesitance when it comes to asking questions. Remember, your team will take their cues from you, and if you’re seemingly beyond reproach, they’ll likely feel immense pressure to emulate that. So don’t be afraid to show weakness – it’ll enable you to build better relationships and encourage your employees to seek help where necessary.
“What Did We Learn From This?”
Analysis is a key factor when it comes to improving performance, and a reflective approach to leadership is far more effective than one of castigation. Yes, there’ll be times when you need to have tough conversations with underperforming employees, but if you want to take full advantage of your failures and ensure everyone learns from them in the long run, it’s important that you encourage your team to take a step back and assess what could be done better. Not only will this help you to prevent future mistakes, but it’ll also motivate your team to take risks and think differently.
“We’re All In This Together.”
As a leader, it’s important to remember that neither failure nor success rests solely upon you. Yes, you’ll be the one in the limelight when you score that brand new client, and yes you’ll probably bear the brunt of the criticism when another walks out the door. But it’s important that you constantly remind your team that all outcomes are collaborative, and that you relish both the highs and lows as a collective. That way, you’ll ensure that everyone has a vested stake in the outcome of any project, and that all employees feel acknowledged and appreciated for the role they play in propelling you to success.