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How Diction Affects Career Leadership Skills

Jamie Danielle Munro
October 4th, 2012
Professional development depends on a number of factors, including the affects of diction on career leadership skills. Many hardworking, intelligent professionals move up the ranks in their careers due to smarts and education, but how much does the way in which we speak contribute to these successes? Coaching firm Speak by Design recently did a questionnaire with HR professionals on the biggest indicator of confidence in a job interview, and 75% said that speaking with a strong tone conveyed the most determination. While tone is clearly a strong factor in conveying leadership, word choice also plays a large part.

Business writer Jenna Goudreau recently wrote an article titled '10 Phrases That Are Holding Your Career Back.' This summary details certain words professionals use that could be stifling their chance for development. One point of particular note is the phrase "I think," and how these words don't convey a sense of confidence or authority. In a leadership role, professionals must always be aware of not only idea strategies, but also how these are communicated with others. Uttering the words "I think" before discussing a potential business plan can devalue one's ideas, simply because it does not convey confidence. Authoritative statements are said in a direct manner, and the "I think" phrase offers a moment of weakness that many leaders can't afford to expose.

Since diction and career leadership skills are so intertwined, taking a moment to package your ideas can not only lead to better communication, but a higher chance of professional advancement. Bill Hybels, award-winning author of Language Matters, states in his book the importance of conveying one's thoughts. "The truth is, leaders rise and fall by the language they use. Sometimes whole visions live or die on the basis of the words the leader chooses for articulating the vision." In a team environment, an idea is only as good as others can understand it and get behind the cause, and a lack of articulation has a significant affect on this perception.

To learn more about career leadership skills, Trend Hunter's Business Trend Report offers various tips on the best tactics for professional development.