Leadership And The Power Of Words – How To Criticize Constructively.
As a leader, you may not realize it, but your words can lift up members of your team to reach new heights or feel like a ton of bricks dropping on one of your team member’s head!
Speaking good things, even while giving negative feedback or when handling sticky situations, enables growth in ability and confidence.
However, last time I checked, this approach does not come automatically or with the leadership title. It is a practiced and cultivated skill.
Positive words flow out of you more easily when you are actively feeding your own mind with positive thoughts.
Being vigilant and guarding the gates of your mind will serve you well, throughout your life and in all your relationships.
Over the course of your career, more so if you are in leadership positions, you will always have to face moral, ethical, cultural, political and even personal dilemmas around your workplace.
Giving feedback and tackling messy, uncomfortable situations will most definitely be among your required tasks as a leader.
If not handled properly, giving criticism can be counterproductive.
So, how do you give constructive criticism using the power of words – words that are as soft as velvet but still pack a punch?
As the leader, a big part of your success will depend on how well you influence others to your point of view or your ideas.
You will need to be persuasive up, down, and across the organization chain. Therefore, you may often feel like you have to hit like a hammer to get what you want or the kind of results the organization needs.
Luckily, you can have the hammer effect, but in a painless, persuasive manner and without causing all kinds of damages. Positive words are rich and will come in handy when you have to deal with uncomfortable situations, and they will also replenish your own mental energy.
Words are power containers and can be used responsibly even in the midst of conflict.
All successful leaders are direct communicators who achieve and inspire in a professional manner.
While giving feedback, it is quite possible, and incredibly effective, to be personable, congenial, and firm all at the same time. In fact, skirting around the issue can be counterproductive.
No matter how uncomfortable the issue might be, always show respect and stay objective. High regard for human dignity is a common characteristic of many great leaders.
Another common characteristic of great leaders is speaking well to themselves and others is the result of what they chose to feed their mind.
Imagine for a moment that we walked around with our mouths wide open to be fed. Can you imagine what could happen?
Random people would throw food into our mouths, any food, because we would not have a choice.
How much rubbish would we eat in a day? A week? A lifetime?
It may sound incredulous, but this is precisely how many people feed their minds. Be selective with what you feed yourself.
How will you feed your leadership ability today?
You can start with these complimentary 101 Mental Performance Tips – they will help you learn how to become your own mental coach.