Leaders agree vehemently that their behavior and communication sets a tone for their employees and they really should pay attention to the messages they are sending…yet they often forget to.
The VP who constantly tells her employees to be timely with their reports…does not return phone calls and emails to them in a timely manner. The sales manager who tells his staff that they should be more assertive with clients…does not give the VP the messages she needs to hear about the business. The parent who wants to instill the concept of integrity…“forgets” to return the extra change the cashier gave back.
Even when it doesn’t seem like it, people are paying attention to our behaviors and looking (and hoping) for consistencies. When I conduct 360 feedback interviews as part of the executive coaching process, my clients are often surprised about the things people notice.
“Wow, they all noticed that, huh? Hm.”
I hear that a lot.
So what does this mean to you? I’m not going to say that you have to be what you want to see in others…because you already know that. What I’m going to offer is a suggestion that will perhaps change the lens through which you are seeing the world.
If you see modeling “good behavior” as a chore or nuisance, it will be hard to make yourself stay consistent with your behaviors. However, if you create in your mind a vision of how you want your team to be and follow that vision yourself, the chore-like parts of modeling good behavior will start to feel like positive actions and momentum toward the bigger picture of what you want to accomplish. This will not only improve your team, but will build your credibility in their eyes and make them want to aspire for more.