There is a leader within you. Some people believe that unless you have an official title, you can’t be a leader. But authority does not equal leadership. Titles have nothing to do with it. In fact, some of the greatest leaders I have ever known never supervised anyone. They simply chose to tap into their natural leadership ability – the same ability that lies within each of us.
You can spot a leader by the way they sound. People who choose to lead sound different from everybody else. They realize the impact that words have on the people around them and have chosen to use theirs carefully. Visionary leaders speak in ways that inspire us. Captains are leaders who use language to provide clarity and focus. Another type of leader is the Mentor.
Mentors are teachers. They have a tendency to build close relationships and a natural inclination to dig for answers.
The Mentor’s strength is developing other people. They excel at helping others get better at their jobs. Their language tends to focus on:
Training – Mentors are good at passing along information you need to perform well.
Coaching– Mentors are good at demonstrating the proper way to perform a skill and help guide you as you improve.
Conflict resolution – Mentors are good at deciphering the source of interpersonal conflict and helping people find workable solutions.
Ultimately, success for the Mentor means improvement. They’re happy when people are growing and developing new skills.
How Mentors communicate:
* They make job-related information readily available to others.
* They deliver criticism tactfully and constructively.
* They dedicate time to developing each member of the team.
* They tailor coaching based on the needs and personalities of the individual.
* They look for on-the-job opportunities to grow the skill set of each team member.
Things Mentors say:
“You need to know this.”
“Let me help you get better.”
“Let’s find a workable solution.”
Questions Mentors ask:
“Who would benefit from this information?”
“How can I help someone grow today?”
“How can we overcome this barrier?”
When Mentors speak, they expand our minds. They lead us to grow beyond our self-imposed boundaries and develop skills we might not even know we have. Take a moment and think about your communication style. Do you actively share knowledge that will help others improve? Do you take advantage of opportunities to demonstrate skills your teammates would benefit from? Do people leave you with higher levels of competence and confidence?
That’s how leaders communicate.