You’ve probably read about the traits of successful leaders but have you ever wondered what phrases the most effective leaders use? Certain phrases inspire confidence and motivate employees. The following are some of the most effective:

“That was my fault.”

The best and most effective leaders take credit for and own up to their mistakes. Rather than blaming others, they take full accountability. Why is this such an important trait and phrase? The more a leader admits to and owns their mistakes, the more their team will feel inspired to own their own mistakes. Not only that but employees will slowly begin to accept that mistakes are ok and a normal part of any job and learn to work through them, just like their boss.

“Ask me anything.”

When a leader tells you that you can ask them anything, you know that they are being transparent.  HubSpot co-founder and chief technology officer Dharmesh Shah once published an article on his wiki page called “Ask Dharmesh Anything.” And that’s exactly what HubSpotters did. Despite criticism, the company’s transparency has paid off as a business value. You don’t have to do anything as drastic as that, but Hubspot proved that employees truly value transparency and the more transparent you can be as a leader, the better!

“I need you to improve. Here’s what’s working well.”

As a leader, there will be many times when you need to address the performance of one of your team members. These conversations can be very difficult and effective leaders understand that. Therefore, they begin these tough conversations by honing in on the positives about the employee’s performance. For instance, if a boss needs to talk to an employee about their continued tardiness, they should first start by saying something like “you work so hard when you are in the office.” This shows the employee that they are a valued member of the team. When the leader goes on to address the tardiness, the employee will receive the criticism differently.

If you want people to consider you an effective leader, you should start incorporating certain phrases into your vernacular. By telling employees that it was your fault when it was, you are allowing mistakes to be ok and promoting transparency. By telling employees to ask you anything, you are giving them permission to ask hard-hitting questions, and lastly, by telling employees what they do well, you are building them up in their roles.