Great leaders have the habit of speaking powerful words that positively impact those around them. Leadership is not only about being action driven and producing results, it’s about the type of words we speak. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The power of the tongue is life and death.”Leaders have been given the opportunity every day to speak powerful and life-giving words. Here are some of the types of words all great leaders speak:
Leaders should speak encouraging words. Encouraging words provide hope and relief and show other people you value them. Whenever you see a team member having a hard day or difficulty working on a task, chose to speak a genuine word of encouragement to them. You will see them physically and emotionally raised up. It will likely make their day and encourage them to keep working hard.
Leaders should speak kindly to other people. Kind words are peaceful, respectful, and always professional. They leave out force, authority, or rudeness in conversations. Don Miguel Ruiz said,
Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Choose to speak kind words to those around you.
Leaders should speak challenging words. Before we discuss this area, it’s worth noting trust and a level of influence with the person is needed before speaking challenging words to them. The person hearing you needs to know you have their best interest in mind.
Often people can’t see the potential in themselves, have a false belief about themselves, and/or fail to think they can do more to achieve greater results. Challenging words break down those limitations and false beliefs. If done with love and kindness these words can allow a person to see the potential inside themselves and provide motivation to grow and take forward action. We all should have a person in our life who speaks this way to us and also be a person who speaks challenging words.
Yes, corrective words make the list. Leaders will have to correct the people they lead, no matter how good the team is. However, the corrective words should be to point out the undesirable outcome or mistake, so the person improves or does not make the same mistake again. It should not be done in a way that points to the person’s personality or uniqueness. Corrective words should not belittle, bring down, or point out the bad in the person.
When having a corrective conversation with one of your people, shift your mindset toward being a coach and mentor while being respectful and scattering in kind words in the discussion. You want to make sure the person knows you care and value them but that you are not going to tolerate similar behaviors or results in the future.
Question: What powerful words do you speak to the people around you?