Friday, January 5, 2018

Things Exceptional People Say

Want to make a huge difference in your own or other’s lives? Here are things you should say every day - to your employees, colleagues, family members, friends, and everyone you care about:

1. “Here’s what I’m thinking.” You’re in charge but that doesn’t mean you’re smarter, savvier, or more insightful than everyone else. Authority can make you “right,” but collaboration makes everyone right.
2. “I was wrong.” I once came up with what I thought was an awesome improvement plan. But a few weeks later, I had to say, “I know you didn’t think this would work, and you were right. I was wrong.” When you’re wrong just say you’re wrong.

3. “That was awesome.” No one gets enough praise. Pick someone - pick anyone - who does or did something well and say, “Wow, that was great how you…” Praise is a gift that costs the giver nothing but is priceless to the recipient.
4. “You’re welcome.” Make eye contact and say, “Thank you.” Or say, “You’re welcome. I was glad to do it.” Don’t let thanks, praise or congratulations, be all about you. Always make praise about the other person.
5. “Can you help me?” When you need help, just say, sincerely and humbly, “Can you help me?” And in the process you’ll show vulnerability, respect, and a willingness to listen - making you a great leader and a great friend.
6. “I’m sorry.” We all have things to apologize for: words, actions, omissions, failings… just say you’re sorry. Never follow with a disclaimer like, “But I was really mad, because…” Say you’re sorry, say why you’re sorry, and take all the blame. Then you both get to make the freshest of fresh starts.
7. “Can you show me?” Knowing what to do helps, but knowing how or why to do it means everything. Don’t just ask for input. Ask to be taught or trained or shown. Then you both win.
8. “Let me give you a hand.” Everyone needs help but often hesitate to ask for help. Find something you can help with. Be specific. Offer in a way that feels collaborative, not patronizing or gratuitous. Model the behavior you want. Then actually roll up your sleeves and help.
9. “I love you.” No, not at work, but everywhere you mean it - and every time you feel it.
10. Nothing. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. If you’re upset, frustrated, or angry, stay quiet. Be quiet until you know exactly what to say - and exactly what affect your words will have.

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