Are you a Trusted Leader or Tyrant Leader?

Being a good leader is a skill. While some people are natural leaders, most of us have to work at learning and practicing being a good leader. Let’s be honest, many factors can get in the way of exceptional leadership from the culture of the organization you are in to your natural personality traits and just plain old lack of experience. One thing that is often overlooked is the power of both words and non-verbal communication. While you may not be yelling at your team or throwing things around, there are some subtle things in what you say and do that have a big impact on how you are perceived as a leader. Take this quick quiz below for insights on whether you are thought of as a leader who is inclusive and can be trusted, or one who is…well, not.

1. When introducing your team, do you say:

a. That they work with you
b. That they work for you

2. When speaking about your employees do you call them:

a. Your team
b. Your staff

3. When assigning work do you say:

a. Can you please do ‘X’?
b. Go and do ‘X’

4. When you run into someone on your team in the cafeteria do you:

a. Chat with them about non- work related topics
b. Avoid them or talk only about work

5. When marking a work anniversary for a team member do you:

a. Verbally thank them with a personalized message
b. Hand them a generic company anniversary note

6. When speaking about accountability do you focus on:

a. Whose hand you are going to shake when things are successful
b. Who will be to blame when things go wrong

7. When asking a team member for some time, do you say:

a. I need to speak with you
b. I need to speak to you

8. When presenting work that an individual on your team has done do you:

a. Make sure people know whose great work it is
b. Leave it ambiguous as to who did the work or say ‘we’ did this

If you answered ‘b’ to any of the above questions, you may be sending messages you don’t intend to. The power of words is so strong that carelessly chosen ones may undermine the wonderful leadership things you do. So, what’s the take away? A simple way to connect with your team and increase your trust as a leader is to take the time to carefully choose the words you use when speaking of and to your team.

Do you have other examples you can share? Please do so in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on linked in.