Successful leaders avoid this phrase:
“I need you to…”
Although this is a common way for leaders to assign tasks, it is poor wording for these reasons:
- It turns servant leadership upside down; leaders are supposed to meet the needs of others, not to seek to have their own needs met.
- It’s a little extreme; I need food, water, shelter, steady income, and love. I’m not sure stapling the cover page to the TPS report falls into the same category.
- It reminds people of their junior high teachers; it’s a little passive-aggressive, because it doesn’t have the courage to ask for a response, allowing the “no”.
Instead of “I need you to…”, try “Will you please…?”
This turns it into an actual task request, requiring a yes or no answer, and making it a two-way street.
To go back to “Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 1)”, start here.
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