top of page

Leaders! You need to Speak Kindly!

Self-talk check this morning!

What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you think about yourself?

Is it a positive, kind thought? Or is it something like this:

  • Why do I do such stupid things?

  • I’ll never amount to anything…

  • I’m too (insert any number of unkind words here)

  • I’m not (insert any number of unkind words here) enough…

Why am I asking you this? Because I’ve spoken to so many people recently who have shared their negative self-talk with me. And although they may wonder where it comes from, I don’t.

Negative self-talk, that unkind “voice in your head” comes from the negative, unkind words that people in leadership roles have said to you. Could be a parent, a teacher, a sports coach, a supervisor or higher leader in a company you’ve worked for. Leaders words carry a lot of weight. And they are easily internalized and generalized to other situations.

Today, here’s what I’d like you do.

  1. When you’re wearing your Leader Hat (and others are following you, at work and at home), pause before you speak. Check your words and tone of voice, because what you say and how you say it is going to stick with the person you’re saying it to and become their self-talk.

  2. When you hear that unkind “voice in your head” telling you you aren’t good enough, smart enough, patient enough or whatever else, stop. And ask yourself, “where did this come from”? Figure out which leaders said it to you, and if it’s really relevant today, or if it’s now just holding you back. Then throw it away!

Because just because a leader said something about you in one situation, doesn’t mean it’s true, or that you need to generalize it to other situations.

Leaders, please…speak kindly to others, because that will allow them to speak kindly to themselves!

What do you think?


To learn how to Speak Kindly, and more about the Three Key Speak Kindly Behaviors, please see Chapter 5 of The Kind Leader.

15 views0 comments


bottom of page