6 Phrases Successful Leaders Should Always Use

Posted on June 26, 2014.

I recently came across a Business Insider article on phrases successful people never use. Trying to put a positive spin on the issue, here are phrases that every successful leader should use:

1.    Thank you.  Great leaders don’t wait until an annual review to give someone a pat on the back and say great job.  You didn’t get to your position alone so consistently recognizing your people’s efforts, when they happen, is critical.

2.    What do you think? Never soliciting input before making decisions is not only showing lack of leadership, it’s dangerous.  You can’t possibly know everything all the time.  Seeing other people’s point of view will ultimately lead to much better outcomes.

3.    How are you? You don’t need to get nosey to show you care about how your employees are doing. Every now and then, have a conversation that isn’t just about business. People want to know that the boss cares about “them”, not just their work.

4.    How am I doing? Creating a culture of feedback starts at the top.  It’s not a sign of weakness or insecurity to solicit feedback.  People may be hesitant at first, but if you’re open and you’re not defensive, you may get some great ideas for improving your own performance.

5.     What are your goals? I’m not talking about work goals, but do you know what the aspirations are of the people that work for you?  Do they want to be promoted, find a way to increase their pay, work from home?  Getting an honest answer isn’t always easy.  But if you build trust, and you sincerely want to help them achieve their goals, you create a much more engaged and satisfied work force.

6.     You can do it! Providing encouragement leads to confidence building.  Letting people take some risks with a task or a project helps them develop and grow.  Who doesn’t want that? Providing effective communication and feedback along the way makes them more willing to raise their hand in the future.

I know managers and leaders have their own workload. But leading your teams should always be your first priority.  You can’t achieve any level of success if you don’t surround yourself with great people.  Attracting and retaining talent can be as simple as a few short phrases.