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10 Phrases the BEST Leaders use

Updated: Apr 10

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10 Phrases the best leaders use

Leadership is influence.

One of the ways leaders influence is with the power of their words. Words have an impact on building trust and culture and strengthening communication. 

No doubt about it. Words are powerful.

So, here’s what I think are 10 phrases the BEST leaders use:

1️⃣ "Thank you." The best leaders express gratitude and appreciation. Saying “Thank You” shows how much you care. It’s the small things that help build trust and strengthen relationships. 

2️⃣ "How are you doing?" The best leaders show real concern for others' well-being. John Maxwell says, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  Very true! Checking in on people is another way to show how much you care.

I had the pleasure of interviewing child psychologist, Dr. Jody Carrington, on my podcast Soul Sister Conversations. She spoke to me about a hockey coach that has an inspirational saying, “You should see how fast I can get a kid to skate when I know the name of his dog.” You can check out my conversation with Dr. Jody Carrington here.

Remember: It is the connection you make with others that makes them want to follow you.

3️⃣ "What do you think?" The best leaders understand the value of listening to other’s perspectives and ideas. When you create a safe space for other’s perspectives and ideas, creativity and innovation happen.

4️⃣ "What can we do better?" The best leaders seek ways to improve. They understand feedback is key to identifying problems and getting better. Listen to one of my favourite leadership conversations around improvements and turnarounds on my podcast Soul Sister Conversations. Captain Michael Abrashoff was assigned the worst ship in the U.S. Navy and he made it #1. Click here to listen to an inspiring leadership conversation. (You can also pick up a copy of his New York Bestselling book It's Your Ship!)

5️⃣ "I believe in you." The best leaders understand the power of acknowledgement. When people feel seen, they are encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and take risks. Positive reinforcement boosts confidence and motivation in people. 

6️⃣ "Let's learn from this." The best leaders are learners. They view mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth and improvement. By encouraging people to learn from mistakes, you create a safe culture focused on continuous learning and development. I had a great conversation with leader and former CEO, Gordie Lavoie on the mistakes he made as a young leader. Listen to that episode here.

7️⃣ "What are your goals?" The best leaders understand that their team members have individual aspirations and goals. By inquiring about their aspirations, you can help connect their goals to their professional development creating a more fulfilling work environment. 

8️⃣ "I'm sorry." The best leaders are willing to admit mistakes. By apologizing, you demonstrate vulnerability and your willingness to be held accountable which earns the respect and trust of your team.

9️⃣ "What do you need from me to be successful?" The best leaders understand that they exist to support their team. Understanding their needs allows you to provide the necessary resources and support to help them achieve their goals.

Yet, recognize that not every one is beginning from the same starting line. When we talk about equity, this is what it means. Some people may need more resources as they may belong to a vulnerable or marginalized community. You can listen to a great episode on “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” on my Soul Sister Conversations podcast here.

1️⃣0️⃣ "Let's celebrate our success." The best leaders understand the importance of celebrating success. It is key in building a positive and motivated culture. By acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments, you boost team morale and inspire people to keep reaching upward.

Leadership is influence and our words is a key component of influence.

Coaching Question: What do you think your level of influence is?


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