With the use of the right language leaders can inspire greatness. Choosing words which encourage, acknowledge, affirm and motivate people is not difficult to achieve with a little bit of knowledge into the power of language.
These are some very powerful phrases to start weaving into your daily language to get some highly effective results;
“You’re absolutely right”
What’s the best way to share your point of view? To agree with the person or people you are trying to persuade. Ask them for their opinion on the subject matter, and then make sure to let them know you have heard and agree with what they have just said (even if you really don’t). By preceeding your perspective with a “Yes, you are right” or “Yes, that’s spot-on”, you are making them feel appreciated and much more open to what you are about to say next. You can even go on to acknowledge what has just been said in your own words, so they understand you have interpreted it well. Be agreeable with at least some aspects of what they have just said. Once you have established some agreeability here, then you can put forward your perspective. Using words like “and” before stating your point of view doesn’t’ imply you are disregarding their point of view, but that it works hand in hand with theirs.
For example, someone in your team might state that they feel it is a waste of time proceeding with a particular line of action because it failed last time and cost the business as lot of wasted money. Once they have completely finished relaying their thoughts, agree with them; “yes, you are absolutely right that happened last time.” Then re-state exactly what they have conveyed, in your own words “last time we launched this product that way we certainly did invest far too much upfront. You are right Kate”. You can then proceed with your point of view “..AND we now have a lot of learnings in place, as well as much better strategies and resources to require less up-front investment”. Taking this agreeable approach, allows you to put forward your point of view without dismissing the perspective of the other person, as well as allowing them to feel more valued, and that both of you are on the same page with aligned thinking of how to move forward.
“How might we?”
I love the use of this phrase and use it often. It is oozing collaboration and each of the three words have their own special magic;
The “how” implies that something will happen, with the method yet to be discovered by the collective team.
The “might” implies that something could happen and it actively invites new ideas whilst also removing any feeling of shame if the idea is not ultimately used.
The “we” reinforces a collaborative approach and increases the likelihood that an eventual decision will have the buy-in of the whole team. This is a powerful phrase to pull out of your hat when trying to turn a disagreement or a challenging topic into one whereby everyone wants to seek a positive solution. If you aren’t using it already, start today.
“Not just yet”
I spoke about the power of these words in last week’s article. By facing challenges and set-backs with the words “not yet”, you are reinforcing to the people around you that all of you are on a learning curve and that mistakes happen and propel you on your way to achievement. “We didn’t achieve the sales levels we aimed for this month” is pretty negative and catastrophises the here and now. “We didn’t achieve our monthly sales figures just yet” is much more progressive and shows that you are all still on the journey to get there. “Yet”, strongly implies it will happen in the future.
“Can you tell me about x”
Inviting the opinion, experiences and beliefs others is a great way to make them feel heard, valued, appreciated and important. Of course, it’s pretty important this question is followed with some good active listening. This is a great way to build rapport with your team. If you hear someone is passionately vegetarian or vegan for example, ask them to tell you about it. You might learn something new about them as they open up about what inspires them, what they believe in, what motivates them. Next time you see them why not say “I followed your suggestion and tried that recipe you suggested. It was so good. I’m making it again tonight!”. This kind of agreeability reinforces your belief in them, your interest in them and builds even greater relationships. Give it a go to build deeper and more meaningful connections at work.
Leading and responding to conversations by using positive language will result in happier, more fulfilled and more motivated employees.
Could you and your leadership team do with one of my tailored workshops? I’d love to share my experience and fool-proof leadership techniques with you. Don’t hesitate. Get in touch today.