As a leader your words inspire or discourage, hurt or help, divide or connect, cause fear or give hope.

The power of your language cannot be exaggerated. As you lead others on a daily basis your language will be like a still pond into which you throw a pebble—the concentric circles will go out and out. You never know whom you will touch with your words. You never know the impact you will have on others.

Aspirational Language

Be assured that when you speak in aspirational language, you lift minds and hearts. When you speak in clear, honest language, tasks will be completed in good order. When your followers hear and see your skill at communicating, you’ll set an example for them to follow.

Ties That Bind

As a leader your artful use of language is about connecting with others, building strong relationships and inclusive communities. As John Ralston Saul wrote in Reflection of a Siamese Twin, “All the lessons of psychiatry, psychology, social work, indeed culture, have taught us over the last hundred years that it is the acceptance of differences, not the search for similarities which enables people to relate to each other …”

The culture you create is a direct reflection of the stories you tell that support the mission and purpose of the individuals who work so hard to make it a reality. Your language is the tie that binds.

Three Question Leadership Language Quiz:

Here is a short quiz to help you assess your language as a leader:

  1. Am I working to become a more inspirational leader using my words to motivate, inspire and give hope?
     
  2. Am I using language to build bridges of communication, rather than erect walls?
     
  3. Do I continually communicate the three vital messages that build strong long-term viable organizations: our mission, our objectives and our values?

The Words They Hear and the Actions They See

There is no such thing as perfect language. It is vital that you continually strive to perfect your communication skills. As a leader you must be able to clear away extraneous issues and get to core ideas.

The credibility and moral tone of your organization is established and communicated by you, its leader. Your team s held together by the words it hears and the actions it sees. When you use your verbal expertise to reinforce the organization’s goals, values, ideas, and ideals in the minds and spirit of your followers, your communication becomes an art form.

You serve your followers best when your mission is articulated by both what you say and what you do.

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