7 Statements Every Leader Needs To Use Often

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Recently, I shared 7 questions every leader should use often. It also made me think there was a similar set of phrases leaders should consider using frequently. These are not questions, but statements.

One of the goals of a leader should be to encourage, strengthen and challenge a team to continually improve. Almost as a cheerleader rousing the crowd at a game, the leader uses his or her influence to bring out the best in others.

How do leaders do that?

One way is by the questions and statements we make as leaders. This post is an extension of that thought — this time some statements.

Here are 7 statements leaders should memorize and use often:

I believe in you.

Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. That’s not helpful. But, hopefully as a leader you are surrounding yourself with people in which you do believe. Tell them. Everyone needs to know this, but in my experience, this is even more important the newer the person is on the team.

You are an asset to this team.

Let them know they make a difference. One of the best ways to do this is by bragging on people when they do something well in front of the rest of the team. Even the most introverted person enjoys this kind of recognition.

I’ve got your back.

If you are an empowering leader — and you should be — then people are stepping out on their own, taking risks for the benefit of the organization. They need to know you support them — even when mistakes are made.

You did a great job.

If they did — tell them. Never miss an opportunity to give post-project encouragement. Celebrating wins encourages the team and more wins.

I want to help you reach your personal goals.

This could even mean the person would no longer be on your team if they did, but it protects their loyalty while they are and this type environment welcomes the highest caliber of leaders. They are willing to work with you because they know you won’t attempt to hold them back from their own goals — in fact, you will encourage them.

I respect you for _______.

Be specific. What is it that impresses you about this team member? What do they uniquely add to the team? Tell them. The power of this one is exponential.

I trust you.

This one requires more than words. You’ll have to prove it with your actions. But, when a team member feels trusted by the leader they are more willing to take risks. They will have more loyalty to the leader — trusting the leader in return. They will be more likely to overlook the days you aren’t leading quite as well.

You may not be able to use these phrases every day. You shouldn’t overuse them. They need to be genuine, heartfelt and honest. That may not even happen every week. But, as often as you can, slip a few of these into your memory bank and pull them out where appropriate. They will help you build a better team.

What phrases would you add?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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13 thoughts on “7 Statements Every Leader Needs To Use Often

  1. Excellent list. I'd highlight what you said towards the bottom:

    "This one requires more than words. You’ll have to prove it with your actions."

    This could and should apply to the whole list.

    A good application for this list is with our families. I say/do these things with my wife and kids. You want to build a family that works well as a team? This list applies there too.

  2. Ron, A few key words and phrases that I have made part of my leadership vocabulary are: "Could you please do me a favor?" and, "I value you and your ideas". As well, I use "we" and "us" much more that "I" and "you"!

  3. You know my two favorites add ons…please and thank you

    Please…. let me know if I can help you (or fill in blanks with whatever it might be).

    Thank you…. for your contribution (or fill in blanks with whatever it might be).

  4. Ron, I want to see people stretch beyond what they even see possible for themselves. For this reason, I would add this statement (or something similar) to the seven above…

    I see huge potential in you.

    As you said in closing, this needs to be an honest assessment, not fluff. If you look around and do not see this kind of potential in those around you then you need to do one of two things…leave the zoo and go back to work OR start looking closer. God has made us all with huge potential for something. We just need to find it!