Language has a huge impact on the way we communicate. It doesn’t just affect your close relationships, it impacts many things including the motivation and morale of your team. If you want to communicate like a leader, you need to make sure you’re using the right language.
Poor use of language is a bad habit of poor leaders. Using language that’s outdated, or even offensive can have serious consequences. It may seem like someone is just naturally gifted with their language, but like any skill, it is one that can be learned and honed.
Language and communication are responsible for everything around us. From planning projects to execution of a new merger, none of it happens without the right use of language.
What language gives you as a leader
Language doesn’t just give you respect or someone’s undivided attention. When it’s used in the right forms and ways as a leader, it gives you so much more:
- Authenticity: Using language that really helps your team see that you’re being a natural leader and not someone who’s pretending overconfidence. Your leadership language should be unique to you, and convey to those around you a sense of who you are
- Credibility: When your language reflects that you’re reliable and committed to doing what you’ll say you’ll do, your team will see you as a credible leader
- Respectability: Being a leader isn’t always about being liked, you can still cultivate respect even when you’ve leading everyone through a less than ideal situation
- Authority: The language of authority doesn’t mean using harsh language, or coming down hard on someone to establish your position of authority. Approaching difficult situations with the right style of communication will ensure you achieve the results that best serve your team and the organisation’s objectives
- Relatability: Using a combination of the right language, you can help align your team with your point of view and help them to see you for who you are, a leader
Negative, snappy language kills morale
Sadly there are too many in management and leadership positions who use negative language to achieve what they want. Being demanding may work, but it won’t leave your team feeling positive.
Build your team up by using language that’s positive and influential. Building good morale will create a team that’s dynamic and able to weather the worst storms.
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Communicate like a leader who is direct, clear, and understanding
When you’re clear about your intentions and use language that’s direct but personal, you’ll find your team responds positively. Building a culture of 360 feedback, understanding, and accountability means your team will flourish in an environment of positive communication.
How to craft your language to be a leader
Changing your language to become a leader means you need to develop in two key aspects:
- Your self-awareness
- Your awareness and reading of others
Building on these skills means you build the foundation for the language you use to make an impact. Being aware of your talents and your shortcomings means you can work on reviewing the kind of language that you use and improving the next time you are faced with a similar situation.
Being aware of others in your team, but without over-reading or over-predicting, their emotions and responses mean you can pitch the right kind of language to have the desired effect.
Understanding the responsibility you have over your language
Language is also more than just the words you’re saying. It’s in your body language, the inflexions you use, even the timing of the conversation and the location, and who is present.
So, as a leader, it’s vital that you learn to use language in the right way, for the right results. If you can take anything away from what you’ve read, it’s that whatever you communicate has an impact on those around you. Being responsible for your actions, and for your influence on those around you is one of the key traits of a good leader.