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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

28 Sep '13

The weight of a leaders words

Posted by T.J. Addington in communication, leaders, leadership
The two boys God gave me were highly sensitive growing up to the words and reactions of their parents. I remember one time giving one of them my "look" and he responded "Don't yell at me!" Actually I had not said anything but I had communicated with my body language and he had felt the message! 

Leaders are not parents to those they lead but like parents, their words have extra weight than the words of others.

Leaders often do not appreciate how their words can hurt, wound, lift up or encourage those in their organization. Because they are leaders their words have extra weight which means that what they say and how they say it impacts people deeply, positively or negatively in significant ways. Their words carry more weight because people don't want to let them down and staff feel it deeply when words spoken carelessly come their way.

This means that leaders have a higher responsibility than others to filter and control their words (yes emails) and reactions so that they do not negatively impact others or send messages they don't want to send. 

Leaders should remember:

  • Words of affirmation are huge.
  • Careless passing words that construe disappointment or cynical can hurt.
  • You can say a lot with body language. Be aware and careful.
  • Measure your responses to control your emotions so that your emotions don't get in the way of the message.
  • Think before one speaks: both about the message and the way it is delivered.
  • If you are going to say hard things because you must, think carefully about how you do it and focus on behaviors rather than on motives. 
  • Your words carry extra weight so use them carefully!