Language counts. The language you use sends subtle messages – intended or not – that speak to your effectiveness as a leader.
Do you ever use the word “try”? As in, “We’re trying to do …”? “Try” sends a message that you’re not sure if it will happen. It might happen, it might not. And it doesn’t sound like a big deal if it doesn’t happen because at least you “tried.”
Better to do something than to try to do something. What actions will you take, what will you actually do? And what are your intended outcomes? What do you expect will result from what you do? Be definitive. Describe your actions and intended outcomes with conviction.
How about “hope”? Do you ever say that you hope something will happen? In business, there is no hope. There are intentions, there are decisions, and there are actions. Hope isn’t a management strategy. What are you going to make happen? And don’t let yourself off the hook by saying you can’t control the outcome. Your intention should be that your decisions and actions will positively influence the outcome.
And you’d better not say that you do strategic planning. Planning produces plans. Is that your intention, to produce plans? Or is it to produce results? Don’t plan strategy, manage strategy. Which means executing it not just planning it.
When people ask you how you’re doing, what do you say? Good? Fine? Okay? Or do you say, “Excellent”, which sends a strong message about your mindset and your energy. Would you rather follow a leader who’s doing okay or a leader who’s doing excellent?
Be aware of how it affects others. Be intentional with your words. Send the right messages.
Make it happen.
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