You’ve heard the saying, “how you say something is just as important as what you say

You’ve heard the saying, “How you say something is just as important as what you say.” That should be your mantra if you ever wish to be perceived as a leader. There are 3 most commonly abused responses you should never use, if you want to maintain your leadership perception.

1. “They didn’t get back to me.”
Expecting someone to get back with you stops the action. Sometimes, when you’re counting on someone else’s help and they don’t respond in a timely manner, you’ll be faced with a status question for whichyou may not have a ready answer. That’s understandable. Take the initiative. A better response is to say, “I will check on that today and contact you before the end of the day with the current status.”

This response is direct, positive and definite? Why? Because it says you will “CHECK” on it “TODAY.”  When do you expect an answer? How about “BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY” (even if it’s not the final answer, but just an updated status).  That response will get you the most respect, especially by a superior in a position to evaluate you later.

Important: Avoid the wishy-washy type response of: “I’ll look into it and get back to you.” That may sound the same, but it’s far from it. Here’s why: “I’ll look into it” comes across as, “When I get a chance I’ll give it a cursory glance.”  What does  “…get back to you” actually mean? Next week, next month?  You’ll never get ahead that way.

2. “I didn’t have time.”

Equally as bad is, “I was too busy!” No one likes to feel they are second class and not taken seriously enough to be a priority. The best way to gain confidence with others, up and down the line, and create an atmosphere of satisfaction and cooperation is to make them feel important, no matter who they are or what the issue.

It’s better to say, “I was working on another situation that came in ahead of you which took a little longer than expected. It’s finally resolved. Now you’re my priority and I’m going to work with you to resolve your situation and stick to it the same way.” Then do it!

3. “I thought someone else was taking care of that.”

Ideally, you should never put yourself in that position. Excuses indicate a roadblock to action. Always ask questions to keep things moving. Determine exactly where you are in the situation and go forward from there. Take control. Know what’s happening at all
times.

If you wish to be perceived as a good leader then you must understand that how you say something is just as important as what you say. That’s what will set you apart.  It’s that recognition that will help propel you ahead a lot faster than many others not so well informed.

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