The Key Asset to Building Top Performers
By Alan Olsen
Are you a manager, or a team leader? If you are, then one of your goals is likely building the best team possible. After all, in most work situations, leaders are only as good as the teams they lead. So how do youbuild the best team? What does it take to get the most out of your team and achieve the greatest success? It comes down to you. What qualities do you have to get your team where you want them to be? In other words, what habits, beliefs and attributes do you need to create an entire team of top performers?
Language Matters Most
All of these are important, but there is one key asset that all good leaders must have to build a top-level team: language. We all use language to communicate, and as the saying goes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Ofcourse, your choice of words is important, but so is the wayyou deliver them and when you deliver them.In other words, you words can have a huge affect on the success of your team, both for good and for bad, depending on how and when you use them. Here are some important tips to help you master the use of your language and build a team of top performers.
• Proof Positive–remember the last time you messed up and a superior pointed it out? Perhaps he or she ridiculed or belittled you? That’s an awful feeling that no one enjoys. When someone is blamed, ridiculed, or punished for failure they are not likely to try again, because they’re afraid to fail again. It’s vital to use positive language instead of negative language. Mistakes must be addressed, but you should focus on the positive results and correct the mistakes with positive language.
• Useful Feedback–your feedback should be useful, instead of harsh or judgmental. It should also be a joint effort. In other words, when you involve your entire team in the feedback process, you and your team are more likely to grow from the experience. Include your team and seek their input and ideas. Together evaluate what went wrong and how you can fix it, as a team. This will lead to more unity, a sense of belonging and ownership, and greater success. You should also increase the opportunities to give positive feedback. The more often you engage in these conversations, the more your team will grow.
• Teach Appropriate Language–negative self-talk, or self-criticism kills our spirits. The same is true for those around us. It’s important to eliminate this kind of talk and to teach your team positive language instead. If you hear negative talk call attention to it and suggest different options. For example, if you hear a team member say,“I’m an idiot,” tell him or her, “You’re not an idiot. You simply made a mistake. No one is perfect.” Using the right language at the right time is key.
Never Underestimate the Power of Language
Your words have a huge impact. Whether or not the impact is positive or negative depends not only on what you say, but also on how and when you say it.People might not always remember the exact words you use, but they will remember the way you made them feel.