Ever feel like trying to find the right words at the right time is a job on its own? Whether you’re looking to express gratitude or gently steer an employee in another direction, finding the right words is tough. Even the best writers struggle to say what they’re trying to say at times.
Your words are a big part of your leadership style. Use these influential phrases powerful leaders keep in their back pockets:
- ‘Don’t sweat it’
Part of being a leader means being able to weed out the mistakes that need to be addressed and the mistakes you can let go. But how can you let the employee know this mistake is OK? Three words:
Don’t sweat it.
You’ll show you know mistakes happen and you’re willing to let appropriate ones go. After all, we can’t spend our energy focusing on the things we can’t change. Unless the person is a mistake-repeater – or the mistake has severe repercussions – cut him or her some slack when you can.
- ‘What’d you learn?’
Any time you can use a situation as a learning lesson, do it. That’s what sets the good leaders apart from the great leaders. Any opportunity is a chance to learn.
Dig deep and get conversation flowing by asking everyone what they learned from the situation, whether it was a positive or a negative experience. Hearing everyone speak up and share their side of the story will foster new ideas and solutions, and create that unbeatable team mindset.
- ‘Speak your mind’
Let’s face it – there’s a good chance you don’t agree with everything your employees say. But you’re a lot better off with a team who’s willing to speak up, rather than employees who just smile and nod.
Let your employees know you want them to speak up, no matter where they fall on the totem pole, by saying, Speak your mind. It’ll make everyone feel like they’re an important contributor to the team.
- ‘I support you’
Name one employee who wouldn’t want to hear this from their superior. Imagine what your employees would do differently if they knew you have their backs, no matter what.
Everyone hates the blame game – so much so that it holds people back from saying what they have to say. Hearing ‘I support you’ might just be the motivation your employee needs to share that innovative idea she’s been holding on to. Be the hero and go to battle for your employees when they need you to.
That fierce loyalty will have great impact on your bottom line, too.
- ‘Just say no’
Take a look at your to-do list. Most of us have dozens of items in the queue, with no wiggle room for any more projects. Wouldn’t you love to say no to taking on something else?
Your employees would, too. It takes guts to say no.
“I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things,” Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs has said.
Let your employees know it’s OK to say no sometimes. You don’t want anyone to burn out or stretch themselves too thin. Make sure to remind your team: No matter how late we stay, no matter how many hours we put in, we simply can’t do it all.