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10 Things Good Leaders Say Every Day

10 Things Good Leaders Say Every Day

When it comes to leadership, there are many qualities that can and should be emulated if your goal is to succeed in a leadership role. But genuine leadership requires a comfortable balance and knowledge of boundaries. There are certain things good leaders say that keep their team trusting in them and moving ahead.

Everyone would like to be a good leader, someone who is well liked and respected. Learning the distinction between being on friendly terms with your coworkers and being the type of boss that everyone enjoys working with is important. There are many ways to get your team to follow your lead without coming off as “bossy” or unapproachable. Your attitude will always dictate the working atmosphere, so it’s wise to learn how to maintain a good and positive attitude. Learning how to connect professionally with your team is always an important asset. So what are some things good leaders say to show that they are listening and thinking for the team? This simple list will point you in the right direction.

1. “What’s your take on this?”

In order to be an effective leader, knowing & appreciating what others think is important. Using this phrase will give you an idea of the other mindsets you have to work with.

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2. “I have trust in you”

If you make others confident that you trust them, they are more likely to want to ensure nothing shakes this confidence. As a result, they’ll try to do their very best for you.

3. “I am proud of you”

This statement obviously doesn’t apply when work is poorly done. But if your team has tried its best and you know it, then simply acknowledging that you are proud of their effort is a better point of focus than harping on the negatives.

4. “Thank you” and “Please”

Treating others with respect will usually go a long way in being an effective leader. It’s hard to hold a grudge or be unpleasant to a leader who practices the simple art of saying please and thank you. After all, it’s something we teach children from the very start.

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5. “That’s wonderful, let’s give it a go”

Encouragement followed by freedom to try an idea is another important leadership quality to extend. Failing to see the possibilities in ideas that come from others shows your team that you are not a team player or an encouraging leader.

6. “Where can I help?”

Even if you are not really needed in the actual execution of the project at a particular stage, extending the offer to help will warm the hearts of your team and they will respect you more for offering your support.

7. “I apologize”

There is nothing more humbling than a leader saying “I am sorry.” While some may look upon this admission as a sign of weakness, you would be wise to practice this acknowledgment if you want to win the respect of your team. If you are wrong, say so and move on.

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8. “I am here if you need me”

Keeping open communication is always a good idea. Don’t be the type of leader who is high and mighty. If your team feels you are unapproachable then they won’t come to you with problems, thus delaying the smooth flow of projects.

9. “I am not perfect and neither are you”

Be the first to acknowledge that no one is perfect, including yourself. Once your team feels comfortable they will strive harder to learn from their mistakes, instead of just trying to avoid making mistakes all along. Letting them know that you don’t expect them to be perfect will motivate them to explore their curiosity.

10. “I can’t do it without you”

Making everyone feel valued is definitely the best way to get everyone committed and dedicated to the project at hand. When you make it clear to your team that you value their contributions, that appreciation will act as a motivator.

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Featured photo credit: Alex Proimos via flickr.com

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Trent Nelson

Digital Marketing Strategist

10 Things Good Leaders Say Every Day

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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