We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s not just what you say that counts but what you do.”
True but it’s only part of the whole story.
As leaders at your company, you’re in the parental role. That doesn’t mean our staff members are just a bunch of kids even if it seems like they act that way sometimes. What it means is any business acts just like it’s a family unit whether the people at work are related to one another or not. That begs the question then, is your business operating like a healthy family unit or a dysfunctional family unit?
You can point the finger at your employees and see all their faults but know that you recruited and hired them so their successes and their failures are as much if not more about you than it is about them.
So, if it’s not just what you say but what you do that counts. What’s missing?
“It’s not just what you say but how you say it!”
If you speak to your team in condescending tones laced with bitterness and sarcasm that’s what comes through even more than the words you speak is the attitude you’re conveying.
Sometimes, we as owners, don’t realize we’re doing it. Sometimes, we think they won’t really pick up on how we’re saying what we’re saying stuff to them. They do. And they do all the time. They are always trying to read you as the head of the family just like they probably did when they were kids in their household growing up.
How often do you go out of your way to catch them doing something right and lavish public praise on them?
How often do you blow off steam by lacing into them in public?
I get it. You’re busy and they’re not your kids to coddle.
But here’s what I know, you’ll get much better results with honey than with vinegar. And your sharp-tongued barbs are like vinegar and your words of appreciation are like honey. Spend more time spreading honey and watch the team change for the better.
So what’s left?
If you’re actions speak louder than your words, what are your actions telling them?
If you ask someone on your staff a question but cut them off as they’re speaking, what’s your action telling them? Their input is not really welcome. If you don’t even bother to ask for their input, your actions speak louder than your words.
If your vehicle is piled up with junk but you yell at them for having a messy truck, how do you have any credibility? You don’t.
If you expect them to work late and be cooperative during the normally busy seasons but you disappear, what’s that showing them? It’s showing them that the rules don’t apply to you.
A client of mine that I worked with over a couple of years once told me, “I finally get it. If I’m not on fire, they’re going to be lukewarm.” So true. If you dread coming to work or running necessary meetings, they will sense it immediately.
Watch the words you speak. Remember, to praise in public and criticize in private. Set the right tone by doing the things that demonstrate the right behavior so you will have authenticity.
You’ll like them and your job as owner and leader a whole lot more.