If you’re trying to motivate someone make the decision to act, it’s important to show that you’re focused on their needs, not yours. Pronouns can help. They’re small, but potent, signals that communicate a speaker’s focus of attention. The key to helping people make the decision can be as simple as using “we” instead of “I” when you communicate.
When people feel insecure, they are more likely to focus their thoughts and behaviors inward and use more first-person singular pronouns (e.g., “I,” “my,” “me”) when speaking. By contrast, first-person plural and second-person pronouns (such as “we,” “us,” or “you”) are used when considering the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of others. So try using “we” more often when speaking to your team. It will show that you are more focused on what you can achieve together than on what you need from them. It can also help shift your perspective and make you more aware of what others need. As you work to meet those expectations, you’ll become a better leader.
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