Is Your Behavior Sending The Right Message To Your Staff?

The old adage that “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” is probably nowhere more prevalent or more prescient than in the world of business. While your company may have mission statements and pieces of tastefully framed thoughts on the business of life scattered throughout the office, their actions often don’t align with these proposed values.

An important component in building a successful and productive culture is to demonstrate that your value system as a company is actually a byproduct of who and what you actually are. The best way to develop a true and abiding commitment to your value statement is to live it.

Let’s look at a few examples of how you can send the correct message in the correct manner.

In the post pandemic world that we are all living in, many if not most of our meetings are now conducted via Zoom or some other electronic meeting format. This is the new normal.

If one of your stated business tenets is to always be efficient and economical in all processes, then your Zoom meetings offer a tremendous opportunity to send an unspoken message supporting your culture.

If the meeting is scheduled to start @ 10:00am and run till 10:45am, then you must learn to start the meeting EXACTLY at 10:00am, and it must end no later than 10:45am. If you are able to address all important agenda items prior to 10:45am, then you can give your people the gift of time and end it early.

Far too many such meetings have 3 of the 5 people assigned show up on time with 1 or 2 laggards that sign in 3 – 5 minutes late. Most teams wait for all to sign on before starting the meeting. This is a mistake. It is everyone’s responsibility to be on time, every time.

In this instance, if you start the meeting at the appointed time of 10:00am, when the one or two people who sign in late realize the meeting has started without them, they will get the message and will be sure to be on time moving forward. It is your actions that people will pay the most attention to.

As you near the end of the scheduled meeting time, it can be very helpful to give the team a 5-minute warning. Something along the lines of “I want to be very respectful of everyone’s time. We have 5 minutes left to address any remaining items before the meeting’s end.” Again, such a statement will send the message that everyone’s time is valuable and that the meetings will start and end on time. A benefit of this approach is that relatively quickly you will find that your meetings are much more productive. People will come more prepared with the realization that they have a limited amount of time to make their points and get what is needed.

I have found that if you reverse the process that most people take when developing and implementing a mission statement, you will get far better results. Most people develop the mission statement, share it with the team, post it in and around the office and hope people get the message. It is generally far more productive to develop the mission statement. But  what actions can you take that will instantly support the mission statement in a concrete and material manner? If you place your emphasis on the actions that fully support the values you are looking to develop in your culture, people won’t have to ask what your mission statement is.  It will be plainly visible in all that you say and do.

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.