As a leader, your words are among your most effective tools. You can construct strong client relationships, build a strong and engaged organization and create a lasting and robust legacy as a leader. Below are five easy phrases that every leader should use daily:
Demonstrating gratitude for a job well done is a key way for leaders to foster a sense of self-worth in the members of their teams. By acknowledging the team members’ efforts and expressing your appreciation, you not only give your team a morale boost, but you can also inspire a greater dedication to team efforts.
It has been proven in many studies throughout time, that team members who have received thanks from their manager saw significant increase in engagement and productivity. A simple “thank you” is an excellent and cost-free way to build a happier, more effective team. It is very simple to do. Thank you.
“I don’t know, but will find out for you.”
What sets a leader apart from the rest of the team? Would you assume that the leader is the one with all of the answers? If not, how could he or she be qualified to lead?
Every leader faces questions to which they don’t have answers. Every leader experiences periods of self-doubt. Admitting that you don’t have all the answers can be humbling, (and for some of you uncomfortable), but it can also bring benefits. Demonstrating a willingness to not know everything and a willingness to seek out the answers will build your credibility with your team, help your team members relate to you and allow you to gain trust and accountability as a leader. Try this…it works.
“What do you think?”
Confident leaders are those who acknowledge that they are not always right and are willing to ask for someone else’s opinion. By presenting your problems to others and seeking out help to develop solutions, you can benefit from the expertise of those around you.
There is a great deal of freedom in recognizing the fact that you do not have to do it all alone. Demonstrate humbleness and a willingness to draw from other people’s experience and knowledge, and you will have the tools to make the best decisions for your team. Seeking insights and opinions from others displays an approachability and flexibility that are keys to quality leadership. So how does this sound to you?
“How did I do?”
A strong leader is one who is eager and willing to accept feedback from others. Easier said than done. While constructive criticism can be difficult to acquire from your team—who wants to be the one to tell the boss that they messed up?—providing a means for honest feedback is essential to both personal and professional growth and development. But this needs you to be open and listen to the feedback without getting defensive with the provider.
By displaying the humility to seek out formal and informal feedback, whether it is challenging or encouraging, you will benefit from a greater sense of self-awareness and evolve as a leader. The next time you have an opportunity, try this powerful question with a colleague or team member.
Silence is golden
How many times have you thought you were listening to somebody, but then realized you didn’t hear anything that they had said? Perhaps the most significant indicator of successful leadership is found in the ability to listen. Just listen. Great leaders are those who are able to proactively and intuitively listen to both their peers, team members, clients and anybody else.
Having the ability to truly listen involves not only actively listening to those who support your ideas and actions, but also those who confront and challenge you. When listening, focus on what is being said rather than preparing your own response. Allow yourself to be challenged and to learn something new.