Looking back through the open text of countless surveys I discovered 5 phrases that great leaders use daily. These phrases align perfectly with the 3 things that show people you value them: 1. You listen to them. 2. You ask for their opinion. 3. You include them in decision making.

Here are the 5 phrases great leaders use every day:

  1. I understand. Understanding implies that you are listening first. Everyone wants to be heard. Recognizing they are heard by seeking to understand and acknowledging when you do, encourages dialogue and lets people know you value them.
  2. Great job! Recognizing a job well done implies that you are looking beyond your own world and that you care about the work of others. Sure, it takes both time and effort, but the payoff is amazing.
  3. What can I do to help? Part of the job of every leader is to remove obstacles. Make it easy by asking people what you can do to help versus making them come to you to ask for your help. In turn, it makes it much easier for them to tell you.
  4. Go for it! This phrase unleashes the potential in people. It’s a great indicator of how compelling your vision is and how motivated your people are. If you don’t find yourself saying “go for it”, you only have yourself to blame.
  5. I value your opinion. If you are not asking others for their opinion, you won’t be saying this phrase very often. It’s a great check to see if you are reaching out enough. Let people know you value their opinion by telling them you do. It will encourage them to give you the honest scoop versus what they think you might want to hear.