Most of us are leaders in different ways and practices. You might not understand this but, if for any reason you have someone under your influence, guidance, or even protection, then you are definitely a leader.
On this one though, I’ll be specifically referring to leaders in our career life. Are you a leader in your career place? If you are answering affirmatively, then what do you think actually makes a good leader? Well, there are tons of answers you could possibly provide to the latter. But we are not here for that.
As a leader, one of the features that is expected of you is good use of words. A leader who cannot communicate properly without upsetting the dynamic or even hurting the feelings of his people is not fit to be a leader because communication matters a lot when it comes to leadership.
Moreover, I am here to spotlight just a single word every leader must avoid; the one word that is capable of draining employees emotionally and psychologically: the “I” word.
In every team, there is no “I”, this emphasis is used mainly to stand against selfishness but to promote teamwork. And leaders who are quite an embodiment of greatness, are not selfish. They use the “I” wordless, yet maintaining their authority as leaders.
The few following tips I’ll outline will help you to understand more about how not to use the “I” word. Let’s get to it.
1. Use The “I” Word Less
Always substitute the “I” word with “we” and “us”. It actually sends out a signal of the fact that you recognize the significance of others. This will tell good of you, especially in front of your people.
Now let me bring something to light here. The concept of leadership was built on the foundation of an interactive dynamic. That is to say, leadership does not just comprise of the leader himself but also the followers, working closely together for the benefit of both parties.
Now by virtue of that very idea, when you make use of the word “I”, you are upsetting the balance by suggesting a top-down principle, thus, creating an oppressive impression on your followers.
But on the other hand, when you make use of the “us” and “we” keyword, you are fulfilling a vital role in the leadership dynamic; you are showing them that, your intentions and actions are for their interest.
2. Phrases Like “I Believe” or “I Think” Should Be Avoided
On some occasions, while trying to express yourself, you might have the impulse to use phrases like “I Believe” or “I Think”. Now, this may sound pretty well to you, but approaching from a psychological standpoint, such phrases, in reality, undermines your authority.
I’ll tell you how. The moment a leader begins to use phrases like “I think”, it immediately signals diffidence to the followers; you come across as insecure and as a self-doubting person.
As a leader people will believe in you if you have confidence in your beliefs, and those phrases do nothing more than killing that confidence psychologically.
Leaders who are self-assured and confident do not call attention to the fact that what they think is actually what they are trying to say. They just say it, straight up.
So know that whatever you say is what you already think and believe; no point using the “I believe” or “I think” phrases. Next time you want to express yourself, just start off with your beliefs.
So with these few highlights, you can be sure of new ways to improve your leadership effectiveness. Always make your followers believe in your guidance by keeping off the “I” word. As a leader, you can never be too sure. Stay smart.
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