I was at a meeting of leaders last week and overheard an interesting conversation. Two men were talking about their respective leadership roles and responsibilities. As one talked it was clear he chose his words carefully and had given thought as to how to introduce himself. The other spoke well, but used a lot of slang to try and make his point. It was interesting.
Both men, dressed like business leaders, continued their conversation after the introductions and both spoke clearly, but there was one difference. While the first used very descriptive and articulate language the other was very casual and used several phrases that I found interesting. I often heard the second man say things like, “You know what I mean?” “You see where I’m coming from…” “You follow?” and “You know what I’m talking about.” And as I write this I’m using correct spelling, not the spelling that may be better representative of what was said. “You understand?”
Now before you start to think that I am saying one is a better leader than the other, or one spoke more correctly than the other; neither of which is necessarily true. I will say this. Good leaders are articulate and can explain themselves in concise understandable terms without relying on slang or inappropriate language. But the bigger issue here is great leaders know and understand their audience.
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