Leadership Ideas for busy People – Changing yourself is the way to change others
If only person X wouldn’t do this or if only Person Y would do the other; in other words if other people behaved as you want them to your life would be much improved. It’s always somebody else’s responsibility or fault. They are the reason things are not as they should or need to be. Simple – and nothing to do with me.
Or is it?
Can we make other people change their behaviour? Whose behaviour can be changed?
The answer is easy; only our own.
And changing our own behaviour is the way to change other people’s behaviour. As a leader your behaviour models the behaviour for others in the organisation. If you are easily irritated, then it is OK for others to be so too. So this is first about acknowledging your own behaviours and being prepared to and able to manage them.
If people are not punctual or prepared for meetings, make sure you are on both counts – start on time, even if it’s the Chair who is late and be consistent about this. The message is powerful.
If someone is rude and overbearing – work at staying calm and being quietly assertive in response until they adjust to your tone. If someone shouts the likely response is to want to shout back. It is more effective to stay cool and dignified. They may not immediately recognise their behaviour is unacceptable but it is hard to go on shouting at someone who is calm and collected.
Managing your own behaviour needs you to be in touch with your own triggers and responses. You may not manage this level of self- control all the time but acknowledge that to the person if possible; “Sorry I was a bit short with you yesterday I was feeling rather pressured I’ll make sure we have more time next time we talk.”
Focus on yourself and how you do things. You can worry less about changing the behaviour of others and concentrate on managing yourself. It is about what others see you do and what they hear you say.
It was Ghandi who said, Be the change you want to see in the world.
How do you know when what you do and say has impact on others?