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5 Phrases You Can Say TO Make 2024 A Success

5 Phrases You Can Say TO Make 2024 A Success

Words are free. Simply adjusting the way we speak can have an incredible impact on those around us. There is an entire science called Neuro-linguistic programming that believes just changing the patterns and models of our external and internal speech can help us achieve specific goals in life.

How we articulate goals, exchange pleasantries and provide feedback are all daily verbal communications we have with those at work. As managers, your team members pay attention to nearly every word you say. And for better or worse, verbal communication has lost the spotlight to non-verbal communication in regards to the amount of research done on the topic

There is even new research showing that the often quoted statistic that verbal communication only accounts for 7% of our entire communication efforts, is in fact, a lie.  

Below are 5 phrases we encourage business owners and managers to use to move your company forward and towards continuing success in 2024. 

Phrase One

As Team Members...

Call your employees’ team members. This is part of a broader effort for employees to feel more belonging and collaborative where they work. The phrase, “you’re an employee” or “our employees need to…” or worse the diffusion of responsibility in a team meeting when you say “some employees have been… or haven’t been…”. The word employee has negative sentiment and a negative impact. 

Daniel Lubetzky, the CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks has stated “I don’t use the word ‘employee’ because it can imply someone is working ‘for’ you rather than ‘with’ you.”

There is even a toxic effect in even calling employees ‘family’. Harvard Business Review wrote an incredible article about the effects of this terminology. For brevity, team members are not family. You are not their parent. You don’t have to put up with behavior that pushes back against your vision of the company when you may have to allow or condone that behavior from family to keep things moving forward. When was the last day you did a 90 Day review on a family member?

Employees are employees. However, using the word ‘team members’ this year opens up new conversations about job expectations and duties. We instinctively understand what being a team member is and what being a team player looks like. Your reviews and feedback are more constructive when encompassing their performance as a member of a team. High performers get to stay on the team. Low performers don’t. 

Be a team. Make it clear that everyone should row together or they may not be in the boat at all. Paradoxically, employees being called team members will feel less burnout and less stress in feeling exploited or unappreciated because they are working harder for the “family’ without seeing a raise in compensation. 

Football team
Phrase Two

As We Grow...

Optimism spurs momentum. Momentum spurs growth. Being in a negative state leads to more procrastination, low-quality work and workplace anxiety. I do not suggest you lie to team members if a project has failed, a bid has fallen through or a drop in sales but always approach these situations with a sense of positivity. Optimists make better leaders. 

Jacko Willick, retired U.S. Navy Seal officer and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership, shares an example of a comrade that always lived in a state of crisis would approach him for help. Jocko’s response would always be “good”. His comrade got so used to Jock responding to every crisis with the word good he learned to seek solutions on his own and to see the silver lining in each crisis. 

Whenever something is going wrong. Whenever something is going bad. When things break down there is always some type of ‘good’ lesson or opportunity in the crises. When your POS system fails, ‘good’. Get the pens and paper out and observe how staff switch up their robotic conversations to more empathetic and personalized exchanges. When a high performer who spreads gossip and discontent around the office leaves, good. The new environment of open collaboration and safety in failing will help bottom performers grow. 

Use the phrase ‘as we grow’ when addressing new items in team meetings. Use it when you’re providing feedback. State as often as possible this may change ‘as we grow’ and it will be exciting when we get there. You project a positive future to your team members each time you use this phrase. When you do grow, it will be like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Phrase Three

I Am So Glad I Could Help...

This phrase substitutes the overdone Chick-Fil-A ‘my pleasure’. Chick-Fil-A started this closing remark and they are good at it! But, as other companies caught on to its effect, and started using it, the phrase ‘my pleasure’ at the end of a service interaction has quickly become nearly disingenuous.

‘My pleasure’ began to stop Chik-Fil-A employees from using the phrase ‘no problem’. The logic was sound. Should putting in an order for Chicken Nuggets ever be a problem?  Should a request for normal service operations of a company be a ‘problem’? Is a customer asking your tree trimming business to come trim a tree a ‘problem’? When businesses allow their team members to respond ‘no problem’ to their customers, subconsciously the customer wonders ‘could it have ever been a problem’? 

Medium completed research on Chick-fil-A. They found that “Politeness in the drive-thru where employees end a conversation by saying “My Pleasure” has a lasting positive impact on the entire experience. Chick-fil-a nails the bookends end customer service. A strong start and a strong finish. 

But now, more authentic phrases such as “I am glad I could help” or “We hope to see you again” are positive phrases that get rid of the dreaded “no problem”. Customers who received more Positive Priming words are more likely to engage in prosocial behavior such as sharing their positive experience online or with others. 

I even feel better watching the Breaking Bad episodes when every customer interaction ends with the car washes’ slogan of “Thank you and have an A1-Day”. 

Thank you Walter White! I will have an A1 Day! 

A Bannock Development Corporation sponsored event in Pocatello Idaho.
Phrase Four

This Is Our Super Power

Being insanely great” at something was something Steve Jobs was often heard saying.

Using the “This is our super power” phrase brings an incredible amount of powerful psychology.

Harvard completed a study where people who did power poses – stood like SuperMan and Wonder Woman, performed better in job interviews, speeches and other tasks given. Reaffirming that your company has a super power and your team member is carrying out will have similar effects. 

ThinkGrow.org states “Leaders always underestimate how often they need to repeat things to keep everyone on the same page and motivated toward the same goals.” 

If something seems obvious to you, repeat it until your mouth is numb. Then keep repeating it. Beating the drum on your company’s few top priorities creates focus for everyone. Using the phrase “this is our superpower” everytime it is executed or demonstrated by a team member solidifies the importance and memory of what your company’s super power is. 

If you want your incredible, industry-defying customer service to be the focus of every team member, then saying, in the moment when you spot the level of customer service you want everyone to mirror, “this is our superpower!”; will align your team. 

Focus on the service or product your company can’t do without and would fail if it didn’t exist. For a restaurant, it is the taste of food. For contractors, it is project completion. Hone in on your company’s super power and then shout it out when it’s displayed.

Review your top Google or Facebook Reviews and see what your customers are saying positively about you. Select a few and at your next team meeting, read the reviews out loud and then end it with “This is our superpower!” 

Phrase Five

In Two Weeks...

Life moves too quickly to think in months and years. We often overthink what we can accomplish in a year but underthink what we can accomplish in five years if momentum is gained on what you’re trying to accomplish. 

Having candid reviews and check-ins every two weeks on company initiatives is the perfect time-frame to know what’s working and what isn’t working. You can take a step back and recalibrate the goal or the strategy to achieve the goal. Team members lose their time and – reading in between the lines – lose your money wondering if they are on the right path. 

Ken Shwaber Jeff Sutherland, the co-creators of SCRUM, the organizational system that makes startups go from zero to unicorns in record time, created the Two Week sprint. Charged with overhauling the complete FBI infrastructure from paper to digital, the SCRUM two week sprint allowed Jeff’s team to accomplish what Lockheed Martin failed to do in three years and 170 million dollars down the hole. In 18 months, the Sentinel Program was launched and the FBI could coordinate amongst departments to avoid another 9/11. 

Deliver a usable and accomplishable task to your team members with the expectation of a full report on where they are at by the end of two weeks. Inspect their progress, give feedback and be fearless in your efforts to connect those they need to collaborate with to get the task done.

Meetings should end with we’ll see where we are at ‘in two weeks’. One-on-ones should set a two week timeline for immediate follow-up on action items. Goals for the entire team should be evaluated by what was accomplished ‘in two weeks’.  

Here’s the paradox. Success leaves tracks but you can only connect the dots when you’re looking backwards.

Two week accomplishments give team members the momentum they need to continue on the path to success and a time to review what’s working or not to get them there.

Phrase Five

Bringing It All Together

The power of language in the workplace cannot be overstated.

By adopting phrases such as ‘team members’ instead of ‘employees,’ we foster a sense of belonging and collaboration.

‘As we grow’ serves as a guiding statement with a positive outlook.

‘I am so glad I could help’ replaces the worn-out phrases, injecting sincerity and warmth into our customer interactions.

‘This is our superpower’ reinforces company values and motivates teams towards excellence. 

Finally, the commitment to regular check-ins ‘in two weeks’ ensures agility and progress towards your business goals

Use these phrases to inspire and unite your team. Use these phrases to increase your trajectory  towards continued success in 2024.