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How to Speak With Authority

     Strong leaders have a commanding presence because of the way they carry themselves.  They exude confidence in the way they walk, talk, stand, and look.  Everything about them says, "I got this."  They make the people around them feel like they can trust their knowledge and their decisions.  Strong leaders are authoritative and earn the respect of the people who report to them.  They've managed to accomplish this by showing themselves to be reliable and wise.  If you've ever had the opportunity to experience this kind of leader in action especially in a crisis, you may remember yourself feeling a little relieved and a bit more relaxed when they took charge.  It was something about the way they spoke that let you know everything was going to be all right.  What did they do?  Let's explore their speech specifically.
     1)  The leader who speaks with authority tends to state facts with accuracy and honesty.  They don't do any double-speak to give the appearance that they know what they're talking about or that they are trying to hide anything.  You can be sure that what they say is true, and you can feel free to repeat it with the same confidence.  They are direct but not rude.  They are self-assured.
     2)  The leader who speaks with authority usually has something of significance to say when he has the attention of his team.  Idle chatter is not a major part of his conversation.  When he speaks, people want to listen because what he has to say shows off his wisdom, his knowledge, and his faith in his own statements.  It's clear to everyone listening that he knows what he's talking about.  He has established himself as a credible source of information.
     3)  The leader who speaks with authority is decisive.  He makes a choice even when the choice is difficult.  He is courageous in that he will do what is unpopular for the greater good rather than to protect his reputation or his own self-interest.  Thus, the very act of ignoring popularity to do what's right in turn gains him popularity.
     It takes time to learn this skill; to build the trust in others that establishes a leader's authority.  If you want to speak with authority, then try these three things for yourself:  Be credible, be significant, and be decisive.

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