Are the words you?re using sending a different message to the one you intended?
My blog this week is a simple reminder about how the language we use can unintentionally dilute or distort the message we?re wanting to communicate. Here are three words that, when used in the wrong context, can delay the progress of your team.
Word 1: BUT ? this word should rarely be used. In fact, as a general rule you should stop saying it completely. ?But? discounts what you?ve just said and can undermine your authenticity as a leader.
Example: ?You?re doing a great job, but, there are some improvements that need to be made?.
Instead: Use the word ?and?.
Word 2: TRY ? this word is annoying! As Yoda from Star Wars say?s ?do or do not, there is no try?. ?Try? is non-committal and can come across as not being invested in the person or outcome.
Example: ?I?ll try to get this done by the end of the week?.
Instead: Use the word ?will? or ?won?t? (if you?re not realistically going to have the time).
Word 3: WE ? this word should be used to create a sense of belonging and in the right context is very effective. Be careful not to use ?we? when you?re managing the performance of an individual. ?We? can provide the perfect opportunity for underperformers to avoid taking responsibility.
Example: ?What can we do to improve your performance?? to which the staff member might put the responsibility back on you as their leader.
Instead: Use the words ?you? and ?I?. For example, ?what can you do to improve your performance? This is what I will commit to doing.?
If you?re struggling to move your team into action, this might be part of your solution. Remember that sometimes it?s the smallest changes that can have the largest impacts. I?d love to hear if it makes a difference!
I am?a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating sustainable team environments through adaptable leadership. I am?a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Mentor and Speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those I?work with.
If you?d like to know more about my?latest program ?Creating Dynamic Leadership? please drop me?an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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