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What You Say Matters

Leaders' words are given more weight

A couple of years ago, I was hanging out with a handful of friends. The discussion turned to work and one of my good friends started telling us a story about something that had happened earlier in the week.

She is a hard worker and really talented at what she does, but the 9am hour is a little early for her. That Tuesday, she was 15 minutes late like she usually is, and didn’t think anything of it.

Later that day, she walked by her boss in the hallway and her boss made an off-handed comment about her consistent tardiness.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this two second interaction held very little weight for her manager, but my friend couldn’t shake it. Days later we were discussing it in detail.

She couldn’t quite tell what her manager meant by it. Was she actually annoyed or just joking? Did she not see the extra hours put in at the end of the day that definitely made up for the 15 minutes? Did she not appreciate the quality of the work and only care about the timesheet?

I didn’t say much during the discussion. My mind was picking through every interaction I had with my employees that week. What did I say? How did it make people feel?

My friend’s story helped me gain a new perspective.

When you are in a position of power, your words and actions are amplified. You don’t have the luxury of being flip or thoughtless.

Bring awareness to your interactions. What you say matters.


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