Tuesday, September 17, 2019

10 Magic Phrases That Will Make You a Better Leader

By Dan McCarthy:


Want to be a better leader? Then try improving your vocabulary. No, I'm not talking adding the latest management and leadership buzzwords or jargon to your repertoire. I'm talking about adding some powerful phrases to your vocabulary that will engage, motivate and inspire others.


1. "How can I be a better leader?"
Variations of the question include "How can I be a better parent?", "How can I be a better spouse?", and "How can I be a better child?"Just make sure to listen and say.....

2. "Thank you."
Use these two powerful words as a response to constructive feedback (which should be seen as a gift), positive feedback, as a way to express gratitude for going the extra mile or a job well done, or when someone brings bad news or a problem to your attention.

3. "Nice Job."
Variations include "Good work!" and "Way to go!" Giving positive reinforcement becomes even more powerful if when it's specific, timely, and you can explain why (positive impact), but let's not over-complicate it too much for now.

4. "What do you think?"
Asking someone for their opinion or ideas is the ultimate demonstration of respect. And when you get those ideas, don't forget to go back to #2.

5. "How can I help?"
Often used as a way to express support during a development discussion, in problem solving, when someone is going through personal difficulties, or when problems or ideas are brought to your attention.

6. "What's possible?"
Instead of coming up with reasons why something won't work, ask yourself and others "What's possible?". And if they do come up with examples of how similar ideas have been tried in the past and have not worked, use the phrase "Up until now."

7. "I don't know."
Use this when you truly don't know the answer to a question or solution to a problem - it demonstrates humility and authenticity. It goes well with "what do you think" as a follow-up.

8. "Why is that important to you?"
This question demonstrates that you care, and you'll learn a lot about the person's motivation and values.

9. "Help me understand."
A much better way to understand someone's logic, reasoning, feelings, etc... than "Really?!", or "Seriously?!", or "What are you thinking?!"

10. "I believe in you."
What a way to express confidence in someone's ability or potential!


Dan McCarthy is an expert in leadership and management development. For over 20 years Dan has helped thousands of leaders and aspiring leaders improve their leadership capabilities. As the owner of Great Leadership, Dan works with organizations and individuals to optimize their leadership capabilities. His expertise includes leadership coaching, succession planning and leadership development consulting, training, speaking, and writing. You can contact Dan via email at dan@greatleadershipbydan.com and follow him on Twitter @greatleadership.

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