Your leadership impact comes in the context of the mundane. How you show up moment by moment adds up. Your team is paying close attention to the words you say every day.
Every day little words inspire connection more than any grand speech you could deliver.
It’s what you say when you think it doesn’t matter that matters.
Your team notices the way you answer the phone or your reaction in the hallway.
The choices you make when you’re excited, rushed, tired, hungry, annoyed, eager – all matter. Choose wisely. The daily cadence of great leadership seldom feels remarkable.
5 Words You Say Every Day
Small interactions add up. The simplest words prove most useful. In fact, they’re tough to overuse.
- Help – Help is one of the most under-leveraged words in leadership. “How can I best help?” “What help do you need?” “Who else can be helpful?” Just as important is asking for help as needed. Being both helpful and helped each day builds genuine connections and does wonders for productivity.
- Thanks – Not just casual, in passing kind of thanks..but a genuine pause of appreciation. Work to truly thank and appreciate at least one person every day.
- Because – It’s easy to assume your team understands your rationale or thinking. What may seem obvious to you often gets lost in translation, particularly if there are a few degrees of separation. “We’re doing this because”, “I need this information because”, “Your work is so important because”, “He was selected for this project because”.
- Why – Just as important as explaining the “because” is asking “why?” A curious and kind tone is particularly vital here. “Why do we do it that way?” “Why is this the priority?” “Why are you interested in that new job?” Great leaders ask “why” more than most.
- Who – When leaders move too quickly, important “whos” get lost. “Who should we involve?” “Who does this best?” “Who else needs to know?”
Update: More Articles on Effective Leadership Communication
If you’ve stumbled on this article about words you should say every day, you’ve found some of our earliest writing on leadership communication. Here are some other articles you may find useful.