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Good leaders never say these words

Steer clear of these damaging words and phrases so that your message stays on point.

A good leader understands that words really do have power and the words you choose can negate your message, build or destroy a relationship, halt a project, or diminish someone’s confidence. Communication is a powerful tool and the words you use dictate its effect. Here are a few everyday words you should avoid using.

“I’ll try”
Whether you intend to or not, this phrase implies that you’re unsure of your abilities. It reveals a lack of confidence in yourself. And as a leader that’s one thing you definitely want to avoid. You don’t want your peers or team members to think this and question your abilities. Instead use the affirmative ‘I will’ and then deliver on what was promised.

“Maybe”
This is another word that conveys a shaky leadership. People in authority tend to say maybe when they actually want to say no. This is also the sign of a weak leader. A strong leader is direct and tells things like they are and doesn’t hide behind a word like maybe. They value honesty, even if it means telling people something they don’t want to hear.

“Probably, Usually”
In technology and in business there’s very little room for ambiguity. Leaders need to know the hard data. When a leader answers probably or usually, it means he/she doesn’t know the answer and that’s a not a good sign. Probably doesn’t get the work done, and it doesn’t inspire confidence in your abilities.

“Don’t worry about it”
This phrase tends to sound belittling. It shows too much confidence on your part and not enough confidence in the other person. It sends out a signal that you don’t think they can do it, therefore they ‘shouldn’t worry about it’. By belittling the person you are demoralising and demotivating them. That’s not what good leaders do. Good leaders empower others.

“Obviously”
This word tends to showcase a sense of superiority and implies that the other person doesn’t understand the point being made. It implies certain assumptions on your part about the other person that may or may not be true. This can annoy other people, even cause them to dislike you, and ultimately disrespect you. So choose your words carefully. Instead of trying to engage and build a connection you might be driving people even further away.

Photograph: Freepik 

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