One-On-Ones: 7 Powerful Phrases to Use

You spend large amounts of time talking. Embrace the transformative power of one-on-one conversations.

Words are hammers. Your hammer gets heavier when you earn respect.

Believe in the power of words. You devalue your ability to influence when you say, “No one really cares what I say.”

Words are hammers. Embrace the power of one-on-one communication. Image of black smith hammering.

Before one-on-ones:

Set an intention before you open your mouth.

Are you striving to instruct, build, correct, encourage? Choose words that express your intention.

Imagine your words have weight. Allow the power of words to influence the way you use words. Only a fool spews words with disregard for their impact.

Tip: You don’t need to say everything you think.

7 powerful phrases to use in one-on-ones:

  1. I love your…. Name qualities that align with organizational values – passion, determination, vision, empathy, openness. Tell people you respect them.
  2. You aren’t helping yourself when…. Teach people to avoid self-defeating behaviors.
  3. When I see you at your best, I see you ….
  4. I notice you (something good). Keep it up.
  5. You belong here.
  6. You earned this opportunity.
  7. I want you beside me during this challenge.

10 Powerful questions to use in one-on-ones:

  1. How are you feeling?
  2. On a scale of 1:10 what level of challenge are you at? Show interest in well-being.
  3. What are you learning?
  4. What do you want to do differently moving forward?
  5. What’s working?
  6. How can you take yourself to the next level?
  7. What would you like to ask?
  8. What should I be asking?
  9. I wonder if _______ holds you back?
  10. How is your confidence level? What could you do to raise your confidence?
The only reason to open your mouth is to make something better. Image of baby birds with open mouths.

The rule:

The #1 rule of leadership communication is: Only open your mouth to make something better.

How many times have words changed your perspective. You shift, for example, from defeat to opportunity when someone asks, “What are you learning?”

What are some of the best and worst things you’ve heard or said during one-on-ones?

What’s your go-to statement or question you like to use?

Still curious:

The Top 10 Rules for Talking Like a Leader

How to Measure the Impact of Words

4 Ways to Talk Like a Leader

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