The best leaders use different words. Accomplished leaders use their words to listen, to understand, to empower, and to show humility. Here are five great words. Use them often and you will become a more influential person.
1. Help Ask my friend Patrick Lencioni why he loves his team and he’ll tell you about their humility and authenticity. “They are the best at what they do, yet they still say, “I need help with this… or I’m not sure what do next.” Those who ask for help are respected far more than those who don’t! Try this: “Would you please take a look at this with me? I might be missing something and I could really use your help.”
2. Why? Not “Why? Why? Why?” like a petulant 4-year-old. Instead say, “help me understand why…” and people will be quick to help you grow. Simon Sinek wrote the bestseller “Start with Why.” He now has the 3rd most popular TED talk of all time (you can watch it here). Keep exploring—keep asking “why?”
3.Reality “The first job of a leader is to accurately define reality” is a famous quote by Max Dupree. I adopted that philosophy over a decade ago and it has never failed me. Too often we “think” we know what’s going on or we “hope” that we are doing better. That’s not good enough! “Exactly where are we today?” I really don’t care how we got there, but I need to know precisely where we are. Friends, take a reality pill. To get better you must figure out where you are right now. Deal with reality, not wishful thinking.
4.Responsibility Here is one of the most powerful sentences in the world: “I’m sorry—that was my mistake and I take full responsibility. What can I do to make it right?” Take full responsibility! Remember, maturity does not come from experience; it comes from accepting responsibility!
5.Thank you I know that’s two words, but “Thanks” just isn’t enough. Look someone directly in the eye and say, “Thank you: you were a rock star on this project. I appreciate you so much, we couldn’t have done it without you.” Those meaningful words will not be forgotten anytime soon.
It’s the moment of truth…
Which ONE of these words will you attempt to use more this week? That’s right—only one.
Please leave your comment below—I’ll go first!
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