Do you speak like a leader?

By Amy Beth Miller

I love Sir Richard Branson’s response to a Virgin employee who used the word “They” when referring to someone else in the organization: “‘They’? Oh, I’m sorry; I mistook you for someone who works here.”

Instilling in staff members an attitude that all of us are part of one team is a vital—and often overlooked—role of leaders.

Great leaders communicate in ways that:

  • Foster team spirit. They use “We” much more often than they say “You” or “I.” They refer to “Our __ department” rather than “The __ department” when discussing other parts of the organization.
  • Reinforce the vision. The organization’s mission statement isn’t just a bunch of words hanging on the wall. Leaders bring it to life when they discuss initiatives and behaviors. Example: “The way you solved that customer’s problem today is exactly the type of initiative that makes us the leader in customer satisfaction in our field.”
  • Encourage others to speak up. Great leaders know that listening is one of their most important communication tools. Not only do they learn more when they listen, but leaders also show employees that they value their expertise and opinions.

Do you know a great new leader who successfully made the transition to management in the past year? Nominate that person for the Bud to Boss Award.


One response to “Do you speak like a leader?

  1. Pingback: What a Leader Should Never Say | The Search for Effective Leadership

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