Too often we don’t think about the kind of reaction our words (or lack of words) are likely to elicit in another person.

Yet words shared by a CEO, supervisor or manager can boost a team’s creativity and be the uplifting message an employee needs to face challenging work days ahead.

Leaders want to supply the motivation needed so their workers, subordinates, employees, team members, and direct reports feel inspired.

In this article…

You will have examples of how leaders choose words and message so others feel inspired.

Choose words to show you value and respect others.

Years ago an entertaining blog in the “business improvement” universe by Sith Lords, Darth Sidious and Darth Vader challenged leaders to examine the human side of work by suggesting the most important words leaders use…

  • 6 most important words: I admit I made a mistake.
  • 5 most important words: You did a good job!
  • 4 most important words: What is your opinion?
  • 3 most important words: If you please…
  • 2 most important words: Thank you!
  • 1 most important words: We
  • Least most important word: I

As a leader at work (or home) which words are you using regularly? Think about your experience with leaders. What was it like for you to be asked your opinion? Or to receive a thank you from the Regional Vice President who praised your professional relationship with a difficult client?

What were your feelings? Inspired? Respected? Eager to do more?

Take a moment right now to thank one of your people for the work they do.

Choose words to reveal a personal story– the not so great ones too.

We all love stories– of success and failure– which connect us to our humanness.

Here’s a story…

The research protocol evaluating the correlation between team relationships and performance went like this.

Team A members were asked to share a personal story of feeling embarrassed. After some awkward silence, a team member volunteered to go first. Others followed.

Team B members were asked to share a personal story of feeling pride. Stories started to flow from each member shortly after the first volunteer.

Both teams were asked to solve the same puzzle requiring members to construct a house together using the materials provided.

The research observers measured the activities of each team member and the team’s efficiency, task performance and overall mood.

Which team scored higher for performance efficiency, member enthusiasm and cohesiveness? Team A.

Why?  The only significant difference between the two groups was the level of personal vulnerability sharing something “embarrassing” involved. 

So… share something that’s both relevant to your team’s challenge and personally revealing. Maybe it’s a time you failed to win a contract and struggled. Demonstrate your humanness. Be relate-able.

That’s inspiring.

Choose words to leave on which are upbeat.

No matter how short or long your message is… leave your people with an encouraging word.

Here’s some common phrases: You can do it! We are in this together and we’ll get it together. I’m glad you’re on my team. You make a difference. You have something important to offer. Thanks for all your effort… I know it hasn’t been easy and I appreciate all of you. 

Choose your words from a place within that’s meaningful to you about your people.

Your leadership shows!

Here’s your takeaway…

Words to lead by communicate value and respect, reveal your humanness and leave your people feeling uplifted.

Choose words to help your people feel inspired and get through those challenging days.

While we’re on the subject… what’s your good word for the day?

Are you interested in having a word with me privately?

I’m your coach with a therapy background and ready to schedule some you-me time to talk. Let’s connect.