Five Impactful Phrases Leaders Should Use More Often

You communicate with your sales reps in all kinds of ways—through spoken conversations, emails, Slack messages. While your words may answer their questions or keep projects moving along, you might be missing opportunities to build trust and establish more meaningful relationships with the people you work with every day.

Suzi McAlpine, a leadership development expert and author of The Leader’s Digest blog, says there are five especially impactful statements that leaders should use liberally with their teams. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share McAlpine’s thoughts on five phrases that can help leaders build more trusting, effective teams.

Phrase No. 1: How do you want me to give you feedback? Feedback is vital to any team. Without allowing feedback to flow freely, you can’t establish authentic connections with your employees. This question is especially important when you bring on a new team member or you step into a new leadership role. It allows you to understand your employees’ preferences. This question also shows that you care about your employees’ success. You want to help them succeed by communicating in a way that suits them best.

Phrase No. 2: What does success look like in this situation? Not everyone will view success the same way. That’s what makes this phrase so important for leaders to ask. When you and your sales reps are on the same page about what success means, you can help eliminate confusion and miscommunication. McAlpine says many performance issues arise because of a lack of collective clarity. Make sure you and your sales team understand the desired outcome.

Phrase No. 3: I’m sorry. Some leaders resist apologizing, often because they want to appear strong and competent. However, if you want your team to feel safe admitting their mistakes or weaknesses, you must model this yourself, says McAlpine. If something doesn’t land how you intended, say so and give a genuine apology, she encourages.

Phrase No. 4: Thank you for x. It meant y. This phrase is so impactful because it’s specific. Instead of offering a general thanks in passing, it’s much more powerful to add some specificity and outline the impact of what the person did, says McAlpine. If you are in the habit of offering positive feedback to your sales reps, you’re on the right track. Now, tweak your feedback by zooming in on exactly what your team member did and why it was so great.

Phrase No. 5: What can I keep doing, stop doing or do more of to lead you better? According to McAlpine, asking this question regularly is a great way to become a better leader. When you remain open to hearing what your team members say, you gain self-awareness and useful insight into what your team needs. If your sales reps are hesitant to provide honest comments, encourage them to share just one piece of feedback—and remember to say thank you.

If the phrases above aren’t part of your leadership lingo, look for ways to include them in your conversations. You will get to know your sales reps better and help build a communicative culture where feedback is freely given and received.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Suzi McAlpine is a keynote speaker, leadership development specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest.

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