#089: 4 Difficult Sentences for Leaders (And Why You Must Get Good at Saying Them) [Podcast]

Many words in the English language are difficult. In fact, there’s even a Dictionary of Difficult Words, but none are more difficult than the ones in the four sentences I share in this episode.

If you are going to lead well, you have to get proficient in the use of these sentences. And, I’ll tell you a little secret: most leaders aren’t good at these, and it’s costing them—big time!

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Many otherwise well-spoken people seem to have great difficulty in spitting these four sentences out. They hem and haw. They stutter. They may get something close to these out, but they have a hard time slowly and deliberately saying these four simple sentences.

  • Sentence #1: I am sorry.
  • Sentence #2: I know that hurt.
  • Sentence #3: I was wrong.
  • Sentence #4: Will you please forgive me?

Caution: you must avoid using the words if and but. For example:

  • “I’m sorry if I offended you.”
  • “I’m sorry, but I think you misunderstood what I was saying.”
  • “I’m sorry, but I was only reacting to something you said.”

Listener Questions

  1. David DeWolf asked, “Do you have any tips and tricks for building more trust in the organization, so people feel more comfortable in sharing feedback with you?”
  2. Lateefah Wielenga asked, “How many times a week should I blog?”
  3. Brian Sherman asked, “When should you start monetizing your blog or website?”
  4. Michael Hamilton asked, “Have you found that certain times of day are more effective for posting to social media?”

Tip of the Week

If you are a public speaker or aspiring one, have a look at Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo. I am not quite finished but am loving it.

As you probably know, the TED Conference is one of the most elite and esteemed conferences anywhere. Speakers are asked to give a killer keynote speech in just eighteen minutes. Amazingly, they are all available online for free. (This all by itself is worthy of a single Tip of the Week.)

Gallo analyzed the five hundred most-viewed presentations and came up with a list of nine techniques they have in common. Some of these you would likely guess, for example, “Master the Art of Storytelling” (Chapter 2), but he provides the science behind why storytelling works.

So far, I discovered a ton of great ideas. In fact, I re-worked my speech for Social Media Marketing World this week, based on what I learned.

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    This is a terrific way to cross-promote your blog or website, because, if I use your question on the show, I will link to it.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: Do you find it difficult to get these words out? Why do you think that is?

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