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People Will Follow Your Actions Not Your Words

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by John Austin in Behavior change, Leadership

We’ve all heard the expression, maybe your parents even said it to you when you were a kid… “Do as I say, not as I do!”

Well… people can’t hear what you say when they can see what you do … this is especially true when your actions are inconsistent with your words.

…saying screen time is damaging to your kids and then spending your time looking screens during dinner, TV, or family time…

…saying we are an innovative organization, and then inadvertently punishing new ideas…

…saying we need more accountability, and then rejecting or explaining away someone’s feedback about your actions, rather than thanking them for taking the risk to tell you the truth!

…saying safety is our top priority and then failing to supply people with the proper equipment to do the work safely, forcing them to improvise if they want to be seen as doing a good job

Common sense, experience, and also research, tells us that our actions and decisions – even when they are unintentional or unconscious – do indeed “speak” louder than words.

In other words…leaders…parents…friends…coworkers…if your actions and words do not align, people will follow your actions.

It’s up to you to create the right environment for you to act how you aspire to act.

If you’d like to dive deeper into this topic check out this short talk on behavioral integrity:

To learn more about improving your leadership behavior, email me or comment below.

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