Learning the language of leadership is, in a sense, like doing a whole person make-over. It means going from “me” to “we” in more than just the words.
Getting to be a leader has lots of ego words. It means proving you are good, actually great at what you do. In fact, using the word “great” over and over and applying it to yourself can be a real plus.
However, once you cross the threshold of leadership it all changes. Kinda like going from being a fun loving kid to being a parent.
The game changes.
Let’s start with some basics.
Here are changes in language that will make a major difference as you take on the mantle of leader:
* Just say “thank you” to others without lots of qualifiers.
* Say “Here’s something to think about” rather than “Here’s what I want.”
* “What do you think will work” not “It’ll never happen.”
* “How can I help” instead of “Just do it my way.”
* What do you think” rather than “Here’s how I see it.”
Make a list of the ways you express yourself and begin to change to a more relationship based way of communicating. It will make a difference at work, at home, and in the community.
Connecting is a vital skill and here are 5 basic steps for finding your leadership edge
1. Give undivided attention: Be with this very person and no looking around for who would be more interesting or more important. It shows and will keep the person you are with feeling discounted and resentful.
2. Listen first, talk last: Really connect. They may have something vital to add to what you are going to say. So, wait and include whatever you can from their input.
3. Watch your body: Keep your arms open not crossed and pay attention to your tonality. It often says more than the words and can be the end point of anything good.
4. Tell a story: Keep it short and yes, talk about you, something that makes you a living, approachable human being. People follow those they like and respect.
5. Write an afterward: Keep the conversation going by sending a short note that shows they had your undivided attention and that you appreciate the connection.
The very art and craft of leadership language is to connect. It’s a skill you can master to make your career shine. Don’t wait, start today. It takes about three months to get the basics under your belt to become comfortable with leadership language that makes a difference.
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