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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders. Her Monday Moment has been a popular leadership learning tool since 2006!

It’s not ALL about how you say it.

The airwaves are full of “contagious” these days. Some tragic. Some true. Yet, what a leader says and how they communicate remains something for which there is no cure. No mouth vacuum exists to sucks words back in; no shot helps you shush yourself. But there are three truths every leader needs to know.

What you say: What you say matters. Emphasis is on how it’s said, but when you hear something in your head and that voice says don’t say it, listen. Plan a new message that conveys what you need and doesn’t create damage for those you lead. Literal employees will hang on your every word. Those under stress will misinterpret and that can make a real mess.

How you say it: Tone of voice stems from intent and your level of stress. Stay aware of the way something was said and keep going back to your intent. Clarify your true need and then the real message you mean will come through with ease.

Why it was said: It all starts here. Communication and language is a useful tool, but those you lead are not fools. They’ll catch on and spread what they think you meant. Make no mistake the most contagious part of your leadership communication is your intent. In fact, why you communicate dictates your words and tone and in the long run, with practice, will keep you from being a leader who’s …well…alone.

Take time now to plan out and practice your contagious communication and message with this worksheet.

Want a worksheet to help you spread the message you intend?

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!


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