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How To Speak Like A Leader

How To Speak Like A Leader

Now that you’ve secured the corner office, you may find that you have to lead meetings or discussions with groups of your employees. When you do, it’s important that you give off the vibe of a competent leader with every word that you say. Follow these tips to speak like a leader:

Don’t go overboard.

Leaders who sprinkle too many superlatives into their conversations will come across as phony and untrustworthy. Nothing is always amazing, incredible, marvelous, and wonderful all the time, so don’t pretend that it is. As a leader, honesty and authenticity is important. Don’t use these fluff words that will make your employees think that you’re hiding something from them.

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Be an adult.

When you think of teenagers, how do you imagine them talking? You most likely thought of words such as “so,” “you know?” and “um.” If you want to sound like a leader, avoid using these words excessively. Don’t end your sentences with “you know?” or “right?” which shows the audience that you’re unsure of what you’re saying. Instead, be authoritative and confident in what you’re saying. When you use too many of these words, not only will your audience view you as juvenile, but they may also get so distracted with your word choice that they lose focus on what you’re saying.

Avoid the buts.

Leaders often get in the habit of delivering good news and then following it with a “but” or “however” to convey bad news. To capture and engage your audience, avoid this tactic. Employees don’t want to feel like everything that you say has an upside and downside. It makes you come across as a negative person, and creates a sour, pessimistic tone in the office. Employees may feel like you are a “glass half-empty” kind of leader, always looking for problems instead of celebrating successes. Instead of using the “but” approach, try to speak of the good in the beginning of your speech, and then focus on ways to improve. You could even refer to these improvements as ways to continue building upon your current success. When you phrase it in this way, employees are more likely to respond positively.

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Don’t use industry jargon.

Often, leaders have to speak to a diverse group of people that represent different departments in the company. It’s impossible to know whether every employee that you have uses the same jargon that you do, so avoid using it altogether when you speak to the entire company. This includes using acronyms that are specific to your business or industry. Even if you’re comfortable with these acronyms, they could be specific to your team, so don’t expect everyone else to immediately know what you’re talking about. As a leader, you never want to make anyone feel left out or incompetent, so speak in a simplistic manner that everyone will be sure to understand, from the wholesale distributors to the accounting department.

Listen.

The best leaders understand that communication is not a one-way street. If you want the respect and admiration of the people that you lead, then it’s important to listen. Say what you have to say, and then ask for feedback from the employees on your team. As they speak, take notes so that they know you’re listening and ask for clarification when you’re not sure of what point they’re trying to make. Remember, sometimes speaking like a leader means not speaking at all, but letting others speak instead!

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How do you communicate in the office to convey your leadership skills? Is verbal or non-verbal communication more important to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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