Language that boosts team performance

What you say can make or break team dynamics.

Have you ever worked in a team full of complaining or negative people? If you have, you know the impact negative language can have on team relationships. Great teams speak positively. Here are some tips on how to follow this example.

Focus on the future

Dwelling on the way things were in the past is a sure-fire way to bring a team down. By shifting your language, you can stay future focussed and positive. Stop talking about the past. Start talking about how to create success in the future.

Never blame or shame

Rehashing the past can make it far too tempting to look for scapegoats. Blaming and fault finding can destroy your team. So quit talking about who is wrong. Forget about passing the buck. Instead, focus on questions like ‘how can we do better next time?’ or ‘what can we do to fix this?’ Keep your language neutral and accepting.

Be solution focussed

Yes, it’s important to be clear about the challenges you face. But asking ‘why do we have these problems?’ only takes you so far. It’s easy to get stuck and overwhelmed when you ask ‘why’ questions. Asking ‘what are the solutions?’ or ‘what does success look like?’ is a much better approach. These questions turn attention to what can be done, rather than how a problem came about. They are solution focused.

Instead of asking… Ask…
What are the problems? What are the solutions?
What’s wrong with the current situation? What does success look like?
Why has this happened? What needs to happen now?
Who is to blame? How do we get back on track?
Why did this go wrong? How can we do better next time?


Need advice on what to say? Ask Eleanor now. Send your question and we’ll answer it in a future blog post.

Error: Contact form not found.