(This is Part 12 in the “Repeat After Me” series. Read Part 11 here.)
In the twelfth and final installation of my “Repeat After Me” series, I leave you with two words worth memorizing which can increase your leadership and influence: “I noticed”. Keep these at the ready, and use them in two primary ways:
When Raising an Issue
“I noticed” is a great on-ramp phrase when wanting to clarify something, or perhaps when needing to raise an uncomfortable issue. It gets the ball rolling, especially when used at the beginning of a sentence. “I noticed you looked sad.” “I noticed you are missing deadlines.” “I noticed you keep changing the subject”. “I noticed you’re really looking happy.” Those sort of things. It puts the issue out there, and it gives space for the listener to respond. Enough said on that.
When Bringing Encouragement
People are way under-encouraged, and “I noticed” helps us do something about it. Henry David Thoreau famously reflected on the plight of humanity, writing, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” When we see situations where people have quietly done what was right or valorous, we can bring enormous encouragement with these two words. In this case, these words sometimes work really well at the end of a sentence.
On Mothers’ Day I was thinking about a friend of mine, a single mother who works tirelessly for her children under insane conditions and odds. Not many would understand the situation: working long hours, living on a narrow financial margin, health concerns and other fears abounding, and much uncertainty relative to their living conditions and future. So I sent her a text message: “Not many would pay attention to how hard you work to give those girls a world of stability, but I’ve noticed. I hope you’re encouraged and blessed today for making such a difference.” Of course, it made a huge difference to her for someone to point out the obvious.
I bet you can test-drive “I noticed” sometime in the next hour. Seriously, as with all of these Repeat After Me phrases, intentionally put them to use, and watch them become automatic and effortless. You’ll increase your influence, you’ll bring much clarity, and you’ll bring encouragement in all your spheres of influence.