Developing a Leadership Vocabulary

Great leaders are always learning. Part of that processing is developing the appropriate leadership vocabulary to help the organization and it’s team members achieve the greatest success.  Great leaders learn to say…

“Yes” more than “No”…

“Why not” more than “How come”….

“Our” more than “My”…

“We” more than “I”…

“Thank you” more than “I wish you hadn’t”….

“Let’s do it” more than “We’ve never done it”…

“Go for it” more than “Stop that”….

“I encourage you to” more than “I command you to”…

“What do you think” more than “Here’s what I think”…

“How can we” more than “This is the way”…

“Works with me” more than “works for me”…

Great leaders understand the power of their language. It develops the culture of the organization, team member’s perceptions of their individual roles, and the overall health and direction of the organization. Great leaders, therefore, choose their words carefully.

How is your leadership vocabulary? What would you add to my list?

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14 thoughts on “Developing a Leadership Vocabulary

  1. Mine could use a little tweeking! Some you mentioned I have learned the hard way, others I am learning with a technique I like call “close mouth, open ears”!
    Twitter: bryankr

  2. So good. Two I would throw out:
    – A banker friend introduced his support person as his associate instead of his assistant. Impressed me immediately. Similar to “works for me”.
    – “I trust you” when encouraging a team member to feel empowered re decision making on their own.
    So grateful for your insights!
    Twitter: ericsyfrett

  3. This is an excellent post and I thank you for it. I plan to send it to the leaders where I work and perhaps, just perhaps, it will make sense to some of them.

  4. Great stuff as usual, Ron. I believe our words have significance. I would encourage people to not only change their wording but spend some time reflecting on the significance of what they are hearing themselves saying by default. Perhaps it will reveal a heart issue that needs to be addressed.