As a Leader Your Words Matter
Words Have Impact
What you say, really matters to your team. I've said it before, employees are always watching. The tone you use is important, but what you actually say can reverberate...for years!!
‘You have no idea how long something you say can stay inside someone’s mind!’ I read that quote recently and it reminded me how important it is to be mindful of my words, particularly with those who work with me.
Words can lift people up or - break them down. A leader or manager's words can have such a lasting affect, especially the critical ones. Here is a great leadership book for more great tips - The Leader's Voice by Clarke & Crossland.
When I reflect on comments that sit with me ‘You use unsophisticated language’, and ‘You’re intimidating’ are the ones that still ruminate for me from leaders I reported to decades ago!!! Ugggh. I'd like to erase them but they still remain in my head and they make me question my approach with clients.
Don't Be a Toxic Leader
Some of the toughest teams I've worked with have a toxic leader.
Toxic because they just don't think about the words they use. Scathing with their comments, they insult or embarrass people. This is not effective communication at all, no real feedback takes place - how can one improve when you've been ridiculed?
And those nasty comments embed themselves into your psyche! It's so damaging.
But the good news is, you can also have a positive lasting affect with your team. And it is not hard to communicate clearly when you have good intention and are genuinely interested in helping your teams growth.
Communicate To Help Your Team Grow
Steps to communicate clearly to help your team members grow:
🔮 Don't put a team member down, there is never a good reason to do so
🔮If need to give someone tough feedback, care personally while challenging directly (check out Radical Candor by Kim Scott)
🔮Be the echo of what your team members are really good at - let each of them know what you see as strengths
🔮Only offer your own opinion when it is asked for - this is hard I know, but think about it your leader's opinion makes you question your own thoughts
🔮 Acknowledge the 'good' work MORE than the mistakes
🔮Be inclusive with your discussions - ask people what they think and really listen to them
🔮When someone messes up (because we all do) share that burden as a leader, we all mess up sometime. Let them know it’s ok, then work together on how to remedy the issue, with grace
🔮 Notice your team members behaviour, let them know that you care about them as a person (especially when they clearly are going through something troubling)
Small things are actually big things for most people.
Just remember how much power you have, your words matter.
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Elaine Adamson is a leadership consultant with Dots Leadership Solutions Inc. A natural dot connector. Passionate about coaching team effectiveness and leadership development she shares over 25+ years of real-life tips and tricks that really work!
Elaine believes you can discover and leverage strengths to forge a strong team dynamic despite business challenges or organizational change.
She posts some great articles on Linked In too!
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