mary1826 / Pixabay

He’s all talk! Talk is cheap! We’ve all heard these phrases, and we all know what they mean: There is a limit to how meaningful words can be, and actions ultimately speak much louder.

And yet, as every leader knows, the words you say are by no means irrelevant. In fact, they can go a long way toward shaping morale, providing a sense of purpose, and unifying the members of your team.

That’s why I recently blogged about the things that transformational leaders should never say—and it’s why, today, I’m turning my attention to three things leaders really should say to their team members.

What Every Transformational Leader Should Say

  1. Look ahead. Far too often, employees get caught up in their short-term goals. Will I get a pay raise this year? What’s the next step of my career? How can I prove myself with this project? All of these are important questions to ask, but not when they distract from long-term thinking. What are your ultimate career goals—and how can your actions today pave the way for long-term success? That’s the kind of forward-thinking mentorship you should be giving your employees, because it shows them that you’re really invested in them.
  2. Own your career. Another way to show you’re invested in employees? Encourage them to invest in themselves. Make sure they know that they are in charge of their careers—and advancement is really all up to them. Encourage your employees to spend some time making themselves better at what they do, reading and learning and studying up on the industry. If you can provide them with educational programs or on-site seminars, that’s all the better.
  3. Be curious. One more thing: Advise your team members to be curious. Ask questions, and don’t take ‘I don’t know’ or ‘that’s above your paygrade’ for an answer. Dig deep into the company and the industry and expand your horizons.

When you say these kinds of things to your employees, it shows them that you want them to be the best they can be, long-term—and, it provides them with a road map for making that happen.