Great leaders know that how they communicate is almost as important as what they communicate.
They’re constantly aware that everything they say will be taken to heart by their team, and that they’ll be measured against their own words.
That’s why you’ll never hear them say these common phrases.
1. ‘Because I said so.’
Great leadership means building a culture of collaboration and connection, creativity and communication. Relying on authority shuts all those things down.
Instead: ‘How do we want to tackle this?’
2. ‘Who do you think you are?’
Great leaders foster feelings of empowerment and engagement in their team, so everyone can reap the benefits of shared ideas and thoughts. There’s no room for ridicule or belittlement.
Instead: ‘What do you think?’
3. ‘It’s not my fault.’
To be a great leader means you accept the consequences for your own actions as well as the actions of others. There’s an upside: Your leadership gains credibility.
Instead: ‘The buck stops here.’
4. ‘I don’t need any help.’
Leadership is all about teamwork, collaboration, making everyone feel included and inspired. The best use of your time is mentoring, guiding, and leading others to succeed.
Instead: ‘We’ll do it together.’
5. ‘I don’t care.’
Great leaders always care. When you express apathy, even about a small point, those around you have very little reason to stay invested.
Instead: ‘Let’s think this through.’
6. ‘I’m too busy.’
We all make time for things that matter to us. When you set a priority for yourself, you set it for your team as well.
Instead: ‘I’ll find the time.’
7. ‘Failure is not an option.’
Sure, success is important, but failure is not the enemy of success. Failure can teach valuable lessons — and those who are afraid to fail will build a culture that rewards bland, safe choices.
Instead: ‘Be bold. Take risks. Always learn.’
Most of us are guilty of having used at least one or two of these phrases somewhere along the way.
But as you work to become the greatest leader you can be, remember to listen to your words — because others are listening to them too.