Being a leader is a tough mass of responsibilities, isn’t it? The success of your project, the work atmosphere, the well-being of every individual in the team – that’s all on you.

No wonder many prioritize one leadership aspect and forget another. You will either push your people to get results, or spend too much time tending to their needs. But is leadership a ‘sum-zero game’ of either this or that? Of course not!

If you manage to connect with your team, you will become someone worth following and people will deliver without being pushed.

How can you achieve that? If used regularly, the following phrases may be a good starting point.

1. “Our Goal Is…”

Meaning: “This is what our team needs to accomplish.”

Doing tasks is not always the same as being able to see how they impact the team’s success. If you communicate the bigger picture on a regular basis, workers will feel more connected and motivated to achieve the common objective.

Give goals, not tasks. This will make everybody will feel more eager to contribute.

2. “Tell Me More”

Meaning: “I’m interested.”

To strive for excellence, people need to feel their opinion is respected. If you want to be liked and respected, be enthusiastic about what others have to say. Show that you value different opinions and mean it.

Likable leaders are engaged, approachable and open to ideas.

3. “If I Understand Correctly, What You Are Saying Is…”

Meaning: “I listened carefully to you.”

You may be a unique expert and a natural motivational speaker, but speaking alone doesn’t make a conversation. In fact, listening is the most important part of effective communication.

Poor listeners lack influence and are unable to maintain a group’s loyalty. Use every chance to develop your listening skills.

4. “I Appreciate That”

Meaning: “I value your time and efforts.”

You can’t respect someone who has no respect for you. Reciprocity is vital in all relationships.

“I appreciate your input”; “Thank you for bringing that up…” It is not hard to wrap communication up in polite terms. Then, why do so many managers neglect that?

5. “Great Job With…”

Meaning: “I noticed your hard work…”

A positive reaction from the leader is not just flattery; it’s a major motivational fuel.

To make it more meaningful and effective, be specific. Show you have been paying attention and state exactly what you want to see more of.

Do you want your praise to have an even bigger impact? Deliver it in front of the whole team. Public recognition is more powerful than private approval.

6. What Can I Do For You?

Meaning: “I care.”

This question is essential not only when it comes to work-related matters. It is even more important to take interest and offer help with your employee’s private lives.

If your team members feel they can approach you with any question or request, they will be willing to do anything in return and not let you down. Offering support not only makes people more engaged. It makes them loyal.

7. What Do You Think About This?

Meaning: “I need your take on that.”

To encourage free expression of opinions is another way to spur creativity and increase employees’ sense of autonomy. Such a question gives a sense of partnership (“We can figure this out together”) and respect (“I consider your knowledge and experience on these matters”).

8. “Whenever It Is Convenient For You”

Meaning: “I offer you flexibility.”

We now know that different people feel productive at different times of the day. Acknowledging that helps raise efficiency immensely.

Of course, urgency happens.But whenever possible, allow your people to deliver their best work. Give them the freedom to organize their tasks in their terms. And that may include not only timing, but also the setting.

9. “I Trust Your Judgment”

Meaning: “You deserve to be confident.”

Money is not enough to stimulate people. They want to feel able and trusted.

If you want your team members to like you more and feel motivated in the long term, then encourage them to make decisions. Put your employees in charge of their tasks and be available for providing directions and feedback as needed.

This will not only allow you to focus on something different than micromanaging, but it will let your team members learn and do more.

10. “What Can We Do Better Next Time?”

Meaning: “Let’s not fear mistakes, but learn from them.”

Everybody makes mistakes. But if the leader has a low tolerance for errors, that will fill the working environment with stress and tension. This naturally brings to low performance, less engagement and burnout.

Make sure your team has your support, instead of making them fearful. Don’t turn occasional failures to disasters, but encourage people to look for improvement clues in them.

A great leader serves as an example. They offer directions and support, motivation and encouragement. To be more liked by your team, don’t put yourself above them, but get closer to them.

The phrases above are not a magic likability scenario. But when used as communication landmarks, they will surely take you there.

What Phrases Make a Likable Leader?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

The article “10 Phrases That Will Make You A More Likable Leader” has originally appeared at

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