The Leader-Talk© Program: The Top 5 Tips on How to Talk Like a Leader


Dr. Z has done extensive research on leadership communication patterns (he listened to leaders talk with each other as they went down a buffet line filling their plates with meat balls and mashed potatoes at a leadership conference). 

After this state-of-the-art research fused with rigorous analysis of the data and the composition of the meatballs, Dr. Z has concluded that leaders do not know how to talk like leaders.

Maybe you can walk like an Egyptian but can you talk like a leader?

To remedy this leadership gap Dr. Z has developed Leader-Talk© – A program to teach leaders how to talk so that someone —- anyone, will listen.

Here are Dr. Z’s top 5 tips to talk like a leader:


Open mind/open mouth. Do not talk with your mouth full of meatballs. If you do you will say, “I want the report on Tuesday” and your direct report will hear, “I flaunt the port on booze day.”


Listen. The top secret in terrific Leader-Talk© is to listen more than you talk. The more time spent listening the less time available for you to say something stupid.


Pair-a-phrase don’t paraphrase. Don’t paraphrase when you can pair-a-phrase. Notice how this last sentence was an empty paraphrase of the previous sentence. Employees are not looking for repetition they are looking for leadership. The 2 powerful pair-a-phrases are: “we’ll see” and “run that by Bob.” If you need something extra, take a quantum leap to a new paradigm by stating: “Did you know that two dimes makes 20 cents?” Upper management will respond well to your bottom-dime leadership approach.


Feelings. Empathy is such a rich way of expressing yourself as a leader. For instance, an employee is quivering like jelly and says, “I feel horrible and devestated that the KY project went done the tubes.” To demonstrate empathic Leader-Talk©, make sad puppy eyes and ask the employee, “How do you feel about that?” Employees love it when they know their boss is really listening to them.


Walk the talk. Learn the art of transformational  Leader-Talk© by going beyond talking to walking. If an employee asks if they can talk to you, just keep walking and say, “It is time for the rubber to hit the road and let’s forget about the talking and get with the walking.” Make sure you wear a pedometer to show how serious you are about your new leadership movement. ” Your employees will be sure to hold you in high esteem as a leader who walks the talk.

Photo Credit: Never Cease to Learn by

1 Comment

Filed under authentic, conversation, humor, leader talk, leadership humor, leadership institute

One response to “The Leader-Talk© Program: The Top 5 Tips on How to Talk Like a Leader

  1. galbabright

    Hello Dr. Z:

    I love the picture and value the belly laugh that your article led me to. 🙂

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