5 words and phrases powerful leaders always use
Confucius once said, “Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”
Words are powerful, and words spoken by leaders have even more power. Because you’re a leader, your words can build up or tear down. They can either stoke or dampen enthusiasm. Your words can bring out the best or elicit the worst in people.
When you use the right words, as Confucius said, you can “know more.” You can comprehend where someone is coming from and get a better grasp of the situation. And because you have better visibility, you can make better decisions.
Using the right words will also make you a more effective leader, one who motivates and elicits the willing cooperation of your team.
If you want to become a more powerful leader, here are five words and phrases to use:
The word “and” is inclusive. It expands, it joins, it connects.
Using “and” instead of “or” makes you a more powerful leader, because you recognize that there are many more possibilities than what others see. You think in a less binary way. The choices aren’t only A or B. They’re A, or B, or A and B. You’re opening up the possibility of doing both A and B, of things coming together. Simply by using “and,” you’ve already expanded the options.
When we were four years old, we annoyed the grown-ups with a litany of “why” questions: “Why is the sky blue?” “Why do we need to sleep?” It signaled a developmental milestone. We had grasped the concept of cause and effect.
Somewhere along the way, many adults stop asking why. As a leader, you cannot afford to. When people bring you ideas, or when something happens, you want your people to be better at understanding what’s going on, and to give you better information. That takes prodding.
Asking “why?” both of others and internally to yourself is powerful. By asking why, you will explore the inner workings of events, and come up with solutions that address root problems. You will discover the deep motivations of people, and find ways to fully engage them.