In my last post, I listed 21 Statements of Highly Ineffective Leaders. By way of contrast (although not a one-for-one comparison) here’s a list of the kinds of things you often hear Highly Effective Leaders say:
21 Statements of Highly Effective Leaders
- This is excellent work.
- You’re a valuable member of this team.
- Help me understand how you reached your conclusion. What are your underlying assumptions?
- While I don’t yet agree with your position, I appreciate you offering a different perspective. Good food for thought.
- I can see how you feel stuck between the policy and your sense of what the right thing to do is. Where do you think we should go from here?
- Do you have the resources you need to complete this project?
- Let me do a listening check. It sounds like you’re saying…
- That must have taken some courage to tell me. Thanks.
- I can’t give you my full attention right now, and that’s not fair to you. Let’s schedule a time that’s good for both of us.
- How are things, generally speaking? How are you doing?
- I’ve interrupted you. Please continue.
- When we add that to your plate, what needs to come off?
- Next time, what could you have done differently? What could I do differently?
- Do you feel heard?
- I’m pretty sure this will feel like an unreasonable request, and I wish I didn’t have to make it. Let’s talk about why I’m asking you to do this.
- It’s a pleasure having you as a colleague.
- You’ve been putting in a lot of long hours lately. What can we do to restore a sense of life balance?
- It’s clear you’ve given this a lot of thought.
- That’s a terrific insight. I’m moving my stake.
- It feels good knowing I can rely on you.
- What’s the lesson we should take from this experience?
- What part of this do you think I should be held accountable, and what part do you think belongs to you?
- I know you didn’t agree with this decision, and I’m grateful that you gave it your full support after it was made.
- What priorities are you struggling with right now, and how can I help?
- I’ve got some ideas on how you might proceed, and I want to hear yours as well.
What these comments tend to have in common is:
- They convey the experience of being heard
- They demonstrate authentic caring
- They acknowledge that the leader doesn’t always know everything.
- They reveal a leader who believes his or her staff is comprised of real people, who are actual grown ups.
What would you add to the list?