What Effective Leaders Say?

By Freelance Contributor | Strong Female Leaders | Reading Time: Approx. 3 min
As a leader, your attitude influences the atmosphere. How you behave and what you say make a big impact. To become an effective leader, look below for some of the common phrases that will set you apart from the rest.

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What Effective Leaders Say
1. "Thank you."
People need to feel appreciated. Whether you do this in public, for example during a town hall meeting, or in private, for example exchanging small talk at the water cooler, a simple "thank you" means more than other words.
2. "What is your opinion?"
Knowledge professionals are leaders in their own right. Because of their unqiue skillsets and innovation, the business world is more dynamic and connceted.
Knowledge professionals don't follow check lists; they create them. They don't enjoy being told what to do and how to think; and they don't like being passed up when it is time to exchange ideas. Their ideas, expertise and opinions are what make them knowledge professionals in the first place.
If you want to gain trust and respect from your knowledgeable team, seek their opinions and motivate them to solve problems. Initiate the creative process and give the team the freedom to formulate and optimize the solution.
In other words, let knowledge professionals do what they do best.
3. "We are changing _____ and here is what you can expect."
From re-orgs to growth spurts to layoffs, change is all around us. When change happens, communicate immediately and be honest about what the team will expect. If you frame the conversation positively and are transparent, your team will see the light even in grim and complicated situations.
4. "When I made a similar mistake last time..."
Savvy leaders know that, in order to gain others' respect and trust, they need to show humility. When knowledge professionals make mistakes, trust that they are already fixing them. At this point, they don't need you to point fingers and ask them to take ownership. They are already on it. They do, however, need your support and encouragement. Offering examples of your own mistakes takes the edge off and creates a bond between you and the person.
5. "You did _____ well and here is an example."
Knowledge professionals want more than just a simple pat on the back. They want the truth. They want to know that you are genuine. When you give praise, offer specific examples. If you want to effectively commend team members and motivate them to do better, pay attention to and speak about the little things that they performed well in.

Parting Thoughts
To motivate and inspire your team, you need more than management know-how. It takes sincere care for the well-being of your people, and how you communicate with them counts. Before speaking with team members, think of how you will make them feel. If you truly care, speaking like a leader will come naturally to you.
Need more help? The books below are good resources.
1) Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader: A Guide to Cultivating Effective Leadership and Organizations
2) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition
3) Pin this article!
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