Over the years I have come to better appreciate the power of words. Time and again, when I have worked with organizations, the employees often tell me “I only hear from them (their managers) when I make a mistake, I wish they would say something when I do a good job” or “I wish I knew how I was doing, no one ever says anything about my work” or “I worked extra hours this week trying to ship product on time and no one said thank you” and so on.
One mark of a leader is a good vocabulary that they use well and often. This particular vocabulary uses words and phrases such as the following:
Great job, I particularly appreciate how you did ________.
I’m sorry, I failed to ________.
I was wrong. You were right.
Great insight! Excellent idea!
Would you help me to ________? We need your input on ____.
I am glad you are a part of XYZ Organization, you make a difference!
I appreciate your hard work and dedication – you are a great example to the others.
You have worked long enough for the day – go home and be with your family.
You have earned your vacation and you need to take it – XYZ won’t fall apart while you are gone.
Stay off email at night!
Here, let me help you.
You know, you did not do so well on ____, but I know you want to do well and I want to help you.
And finally one big addition to your vocabulary – laughter. Learn to laugh and to let your staff know that it is good to laugh!
You can change lives with your words – literally. So speak words of truth, grace, and peace to those you lead and see how it causes them to flourish.
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, . . .” Proverbs 15:4
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Proverbs 25:11