Have you ever spoken with someone that had a strong accent?

There was something different about how they spoke.

Leaders have an accent.

There is something about the way leaders speak that sets them apart. ‘The Accent of Leadership‘ doesn’t so much associate them with a nationality as it does elevate them as an authority. It is a distinguishing sound that can cut through the normality and disrupt conformity.

What does ‘The Accent of Leadership‘ sound like? And how do we learn it?

Below are just ‘Four Distinguishing Sounds of a Leadership Accent’. 

A conversation with a great leader:

1. Will ask more and tell less

I’ve come to understand that the most effective leaders are not those who share the most advice in a conversation but those who know how to ask the right questions. Good leaders know how to speak. Great leaders know when not to. Leaders who ‘ask people’ more than they ‘tell people’ have an accent that stands out in a conversation.

2. Will leave you feeling clean

Great leaders aren’t afraid to take the conversational high road and speak with integrity. When conversations move in the direction of the lowest common denominator, they are the first to speak up and it stands out. Their motivations and vocabulary are both clean which give you permission to be vulnerable and confide in that person. The best leaders don’t propagate gossip with their lips or entertain it with their ears.

3. Will build you up not beat you up

Leaders are visionary by nature so they will point to your future more than they point out your past. A great leader will always be a bigger champion of your future than they are a critic of your past. They aren’t afraid to challenge the tone of the conversation or the actions of another, but all with the purpose of moving people in the direction of a better future and maximising your potential. You will leave the conversation better than when you entered it, even if it was difficult.

4. Will provoke you to think different

Great leaders aren’t afraid to question the ‘status-quo‘ or disagree. To bring new perspectives to preconceived ideas. Matt Church of Thought Leaders Global always challenges leaders to read and engage with a “yes AND” or a “yes BUT” mentality which contributes to the ‘The Accent of Leadership‘. Engaging in this type of conversation exposes you to new ideas and ways of thinking that arouses curiosity, creates depth and broadens perspective.

Take a minute to reflect on some of your recent conversations. Can you identify any of these? How does your conversation need to change moving forward?

We repeat what we see modelled. I’ve found the most effective way to learn an accent is to immerse yourself in the language and culture we want to adopt.

Surround yourself with people who speak the way you want to. Read books that enlarge your vocabulary and speak with the accent you would like. Practice shaping the tone of your conversations and watch how the standard of the group rises with you.