Three Phrases for Leaders


As a leader, your people need a lot from you. Three things they need to hear regularly:

  1. “I’m sorry” – You make mistakes and that’s okay; we all do. But do you own them? Do you admit when you made the wrong call or didn’t handle a situation in the way that best serves them? Being willing to admit your own error creates a culture of trust and gives your team room to be honest when they do the same.
  2. “Thank you” – Your team serves you and probably does things all the time on your behalf. When was the last time you said “Thank you”? Do it for the little things and the big things. A few years back, my team encouraged me that I was good at this but that it would help them if we took a little time in between busy seasons to celebrate the win as a team. I would say thank you and immediately move on to something else. Take time to really give sincere appreciation.
  3. “You’re awesome” – #2 focuses on what someone does or has done, but you also need to celebrate who they are. I’ve found that people need to be recognized for both. If it’s only about what they do, they may get so caught up in doing that they don’t realize their own boundaries and work themselves to a pulp. Celebrating them for who they are, not just for what they do, will also encourage them to develop their skills beyond their current position, rather than focusing on their current to-do list only.
What’s on your list of top phrases? Do these help?

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