Talk Like a Leader

I recently stumbled upon a wonderful little book that challenged me to take a look at the way I communicate. The Leader Phrase Book contains thousands of phrases and provides great communication tips, written in a way that is relatable and adaptable to any business situation. From what to say during a negotiation to how to ask for a raise, this book is a terrific resource for professionals. Here are the takeaways I found to be most insightful:

Use a professional, non-confrontational tone.
Be confident, but don’t let that confidence come across as arrogant, aggressive or dismissive. When you’ve made a decision, be resolute but be open to others’ opinions. Even when you don’t heed to your colleagues’ requests, you will remain a respectable figure if you are diplomatic and emotionally even-keeled. No one likes to feel threatened.

Speak clearly and briefly, but know when to keep quiet.
We’ve all been there. Stuck in a meeting with someone who seems to love the sound of his or her own voice. Don’t be that person. If you tend to be long-winded, recognize that you are engaged in a two-way conversation and allow your colleagues an opportunity to engage. Silence can work to your advantage. Don’t interrupt. Wait until after someone has completed their thought before interjecting with questions.

Be personable, not exclusive.
Everyone likes to feel like they have some decision-making power. Making sure everyone feels like they have a stake in the overall outcome builds alliances. This is especially important when working with cross-disciplinary teams. A true leader knows he or she can’t accomplish their goals alone.

What communication tactics do you find effective? What qualities do you look for in a leader? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below.

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