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3 Simple Phrases Great Leaders Always Use


July 23, 2016 • 311 Likes • 20


“By habitually using these 3 phrases, you will strengthen your ability to effortlessly lead others in the direction that you want them to go. And that simply will make your role as a leader much more powerful and meaningful – something we all want when leading other people.”

They are:

  1. “And here’s why…”
  2. “Would you mind…”
  3. “Does this make sense?”

An often-cited but frequently misunderstood communication study completed by UCLA researcher Albert Mehrabian found that  93% of communication comes from something other than the words used.

Translation – only 7% comes from the actual words themselves.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?

So why is this nugget of useful information so commonly misunderstood? Because in reality, the study doesn’t really relate to understanding the literal meaning of the words that are communicated.

It really relates to the impact of the words or the impression the person has of the communicator.

Yes – body language and tone of voice absolutely matter in the communication process. But words matter as well, especially for understanding.
And this leads me to an important question…
What happens when you are asked to do something, and you don’t understand the reason behind the request?

Before answering this question, consider this story that comes from Mike – a person I was coaching earlier this year as part of a leadership development program. He shared an incredibly rude situation that one of his previous bosses initiated, and it really demonstrated the best way to kill the morale and trust of any team. Here’s what happened…
Upon arriving at work, he and a few of his coworkers would casually chat in the hallway before beginning the day.

This went on for a few months without any problems. And let’s be clear – it would only last for about 5 or 10 minutes at the most, before everyone then would go to their desks to begin the day. Although it was only for just a few minutes, it went a long way toward strengthening the bonds between these team members.
Then one day, out of the blue, this emotionally unintelligent boss comes storming out of her office and says in a very angry voice,
“From now on, I don’t want to see anyone socializing at the start of the day. When you arrive here, you should be working, not socializing.”

Now, before we get into what was wrong with what happened, let me ask – what was the result of the actions of this boss? Exactly – she engendered mistrust, anger, and a whole lot of negative emotion. Not to mention, that she also created a great deal of resentment with the people she was leading.
Now, aside from the emotion of her communication, what was wrong with what she actually said? There was NO context whatsoever. It seemed so arbitrary to these employees.
If this were the only time this boss had done something like that, I would not have used this as an example. But you see, according to Mike, this boss was guilty of this type of egregious leadership behavior on a fairly regular basis.
He did go on to say – and I thought this was a nice example of turning something to your advantage – that he learned a great deal from this boss about what NOT to do as a boss.
Because this boss offered no context or reason why she was making the request, it seemed so dictatorial.

And as Mike explained, this pattern of disrespectful behavior did severe damage to the performance and morale of the team – not to mention it even caused some to begin looking for another job.
So assuming Mike’s boss had a legitimate reason, what should she have said to this group of employees?
She should have calmly walked out of her office, and said something like…
“Hey, I hate to break up the party and be a spoiler, but there’s a problem we need to address. During our senior leadership meeting yesterday, Jim (senior director) wants us to refrain from socializing in the hall first thing in the morning. And here’s why – he feels strongly that it doesn’t reflect well on us to our customers who are here at that time. So, beginning tomorrow, would you mind holding off from socializing in the hall first thing in the morning? Does this make sense?”

Can you see what a difference this would have made? And did you catch the three key phrases in this example? They were:
“And here’s why…”

“Would you mind…”

“Does this make sense?”
 Let’s dig into the details of each phrase.
 1. “And here’s why…”

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