3 Words Leaders Should Avoid 

Your language matters. Your words matter. Your statements matter. 

Language goes straight to the emotional part of our brain. It impacts people’s psychology instantly. It turns people on. Or it turns them off. In a heartbeat. 

So, if language is so important, why don’t many leaders work hard on what they say. And how they say it?  

The message is, there are many words that you should be using as a leader, and there are some you should try and remove from your lexicon. Here are three of the latter:  

1. “Impossible”  

When a leader uses the word “impossible,” it sends a discouraging message to the team. It can stifle creativity and innovation, making it seem as though the goals and challenges ahead are insurmountable.  

Instead of saying something is impossible, great leaders encourage their teams to think creatively, problem-solve, and find solutions to what may appear as difficult obstacles. By removing this word from your vocabulary, you open the door to creative and innovative thinking. Including idea generation! 

2. “Fault”  

Finger-pointing and placing blame can be incredibly toxic in a team environment. The moment a leader uses the word “fault,” it sets a precedent that the focus is on finding a scapegoat rather than solving the problem.  

Effective leaders focus on solutions and accountability, not fault (or blame). When challenges arise, it’s important to assess what went wrong, learn from it, and work together to prevent similar issues in the future. 

3. “Just”  

The word “just” is often used as a filler word, but it can unintentionally diminish the importance of a task or goal. For instance, saying, “We just need to finish this report,” can make it seem like the task is simple and not worth the team’s full attention.  

Leaders should strive to communicate with clarity and emphasise the significance of each task and its contribution to the broader mission. 

By avoiding these three words – “impossible,” “fault,” and “just” – leaders can foster a more positive and constructive environment. It is essential to choose words that empower, motivate, and inspire, rather than hinder progress and demoralise teams. 

As leaders, we have the responsibility to set the tone for our organisations, and the words we use reflect our values and leadership style. Let’s be mindful of our language and work to create a culture that encourages growth, collaboration, and innovation. 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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