Every day we make choices. We choose how we want to present ourselves to the world through our dress and physical presentation. We choose where we are working, or how we are parenting. We are aware of the possibilities that are before us and keenly mindful of what our limitations behold.
There are key pieces of choosing that we have sole control over. The largest is our choice of words.
As leaders, our words will have great impact. The words we choose will inspire or diminish the lives of those who subsist in our shadows.
As leaders, the choice of our words will empower or annihilate the spirit of those on our teams. Will we lead them to victory, or do we set ourselves up every day for the act of defeat?
So it is that we must pause ourselves, just like the button on any video recording machine or DVR or whatever newest device you have before you. You must pause. Before you act, react, or speak, you must choose to consciously stop, look and listen to the circumstances before one word comes out of your mouth.
Some have mastered the art of choosing words and cherry-picking them carefully. Many of us are unfamiliar with that notion.
Sheena Iyangar has studied the art of choosing for more than 20 years. She has stated, “When we are able to balance our hopes and dreams and appreciation for the possibilities, with a clear eyed assessment of limitations than we are best prepared to practice the art of choosing.”
Yet in the blink of an eye, in a team meeting, when someone pulls us into confidence, or we see someone putting themselves in harm’s way, we may not have time to consider an assessment of our limitations. We may only appreciate the period of time it takes for us to react, to respond, to provide a swift answer to a situation presented before us.
And it is how we respond, that we will be judged by our choosing. It is how we respond, that those surrounding us will continue to believe in us or abruptly commence with divorce. They will divorce what we believe in; divorce our intentions; and divorce our leadership style, whatever that may be.
Choosing Our Words
In the moment, how are you prepared to react when someone surprises you with something you haven’t previously considered for that particular point in time?
In the moment, when do you permit others to interrupt your carefully planned day so that you can move your work forward and how do you prepare yourself for those interruptions?
At any given point in time, how is it that you are ready to choose your words within seconds, so they are interpreted with confidence, trust and integrity?
“Terrible bosses have a trickle down effect. They bring down the quality of your employees’ work and your bottom line with it.” (Maeghan Ouimet) What are the intentional choices that those terrible bosses have made with their words?
It takes 22 months, count them… 22, for a worker to heal after being dressed down in front of others because someone chose to exert their power and control intentionally. While we may not choose to have coronary issues, 30 percent of individuals who suffer a bad encounter with their boss, will have one after a stressful situation with their boss. (Inc. Magazine)
Is this your legacy?
How do we permit these bad bosses to continue? How willing are we to ignore their words and not take them personally — they are a jerk and always will be and nothing that I do or say will change that? How can we shift our awareness of them being jerks (not our fault) and be strong in the face of our determination?
Every person is a leader. Leaders bear no titles; they bear intentions. YOU are a leader – at the very least you are leading yourself. How do you prepare for the choices you will make today? How will you joyfully embrace every possibility today and embrace the power of your words through choice?
Preparing for a Leaderful Day
When you awake, how do you greet the day? Dread or enthusiasm… real enthusiasm, because you are passionate about the work that you are doing?
As you envision your day, is it monotonous or is it filled with opportunities to be challenged in some way?
If monotonous, you need to get a new job. Sorry, but it’s true. Consider the price of happiness. As you prepare yourself for the potential opportunities, what are your choices? Will you choose to inspire or cripple? Will you choose to serve others or demand service? Will you choose to empower or eviscerate the spirit of those with whom you encounter?
Your words, your actions, your intentions provide you and those around you with a roadmap. How you arouse others through the choice of your words and then deliver them, will depict your future. How you exert your power and intention will craft your legacy. It’s your choice.
Kayte Connelly, Best Principled Solutions LLC, is an award-winning author, leadership coach, and organizational development consultant specializing in personal, professional and community leadership. She facilitates corporate retreats and conversations with dissimilar parties and helps individuals and organizations identify and eliminate what stands between themselves and their goals. Enriched customized services are designed to create and sustain generations of leaders for our community and your company, based on research and global development. Call 484.769.2327 for more information on how your company could become more collaborative, flexible, imaginative, and innovative and/or to discover your leadership “edge.” www.facebook.com/BestPrincipledSolutions. @leadercoachKT.