“If you don’t watch your mouth, I’m going to wash it out with soap!!!” How many of you heard that before? How many of you actually had to stick a bar of soap in your mouth, or brush your teeth with soap because you slipped up and cursed in front of your parents or smart mouthed them in one way or another?
Words are a powerful tool! The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” Proverbs 18:21. All the ancients understood the magnitude of this part of the body. The way a leader communicates is paramount in their success. How you talk to your kids, how you speak to your spouse, your co-workers, your church members, or any team member, is the difference between success and sure failure.
Some “leaders” need to wash their mouths out with soap and clean up their conversation. When was the last time you had a boss talk down to you? Or when was the last time you heard a parent belittle their child? Look at the reaction of the co-worker and the child and tell me how effective the “leader” was. I want to give you a few ideas on how to use your words to get the most out of your relationships, and especially the ones you lead.
“STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE!”
One of the most powerful phrases that I ever heard was, “Think before you speak.” You love your team right? Your children? As a leader you should have a passion for your co-worker’s success, right? If that’s the case we as leaders should stop before we speak, so we can examine our words before we catapult them out there. Here are a few things to consider.
- Learn restraint – Control your emotions and hold back your outburst.
- Remember your teammates are humans and they aren’t perfect. They aren’t underneath you, they should be beside you.
- Consider the outcome of your words before you filet their emotions
Some “leaders” keep their teams scared and nervous because of their constant abuse with their tongues. Yeah you may get them to do what you want and even achieve some sort of success, but the long term affect on your people will be crippling.
The most powerful tool you can use to motivate your team is not money, gifts, and trips, but words of encouragement and inspiration.
“You can say whatever you want, as long as you say it in love!” -unknown
Choose Your Words Wisely
Your ability to manage your words can increase your effectiveness greatly. There’s many great books out there that teach us the power of our words. A book I have that I love to read is, How to Say It to Sell It, by Sue Hershkowitz-Coore. This book teaches you phrases that increase your odds of making the sales.
You may not be in sales, but as a leader learning how to effectively communicate with others is the difference between “leaders” and leaders! Here are some examples of communication, and take notes.
- Verbal Communication
- Be clear and concise in what you say.
- Mirror the other person’s speed and talk. But nothing silly, just connecting with the other person.
- Use clean language. Never vulgar.
- Project your voice. No mumbling.
- CHECK YOUR BREATH
- Non-verbal Communication
- Make eye contact. But don’t be weird.
- Stand up straight.
- Stay out of the other person’s comfort zone.
- Smile and stay positive.
There are many other cues to consider but we are just hitting the highlights in this article.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” –Jim Rohn
“Running Your Mouth”
“Running your mouth” is like running a business, it takes a lot of work and lots of management. If you want to become a master of communication, you must be willing to change.
- It takes training.
- It takes growing.
- It takes maturing.
“Run your mouth” like a professional manager runs a top notch business. Be willing to educate yourself, read books, articles, take courses, and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE some more.
My sister was called “Mouth of the South” for many good reasons. LOL. She actually ran her mouth non stop, mainly because I aggravated the death out of her. I was a little angel!
Most managers, parents, “leaders” are very juvenile in their communication. Most feel like no one listens and frustrated because they can’t motivate others.
The art of communication is the language of leadership. -James Humes
So watch your mouth as a leader. You can be a very effective communicator. Turn yourself into a communicating ninja!
-Dustin L. Carr