If you’re a leader you will at times need to tell people what to do. The least effective leaders must do that far more often than more effective leaders. But sooner or later even the most effective leader will need to give clear, concise direction. What some people might call an “order.”
I don’t like the word “order” so I’m going to call it direction. The most effective leaders know this leadership fact: how you say something is every bit as important as the something you say. In other words, how you give the direction is just as important as the direction you give.
The timing of providing your people direction is critical to how that direction is received. If you give direction to someone during a very stressful time their reaction is far less predictable. When someone’s emotions are running high they could have a very difficult time accepting “one more thing to do.”
The most effective leaders will look for a time when a person is more open to receiving direction. This of course requires a leader to know and understand their people but that’s not a significant challenge for an effective leader.
Effective leaders know that “tone” also makes a huge difference.
Read the rest here: http://stevekeating.me/2015/02/06/how-you-say-it-really-matters/