One of the conversations I’ve been having with leaders lately is how they walk their talk. The basics of power dynamics tell us that if you’re the person in the room who holds the most (perceived) power (typically due to rank or title in the workplace) you set the tone for how others will respond. If you want them to do something, you need to model it. If; however, you want their input and creativity, you need to shut up!
If this sounds like parenting, you’re exactly right. The adage “Do as I say, not as I do.” works about as well with adults as it does with kids. People watch what we do and take the cues from that…even if our words are different.
For example, if you want to encourage your team to take time off because everyone is overwhelmed. Most likely, unless they see you taking time off, it won’t happen.
This is how you walk your talk. You set the tone for your team by demonstrating that you’re practicing what you preach. (pro tip: Having your words & actions match is also a great way to demonstrate integrity and build trust!) Want folks to take time off so they don’t get burnt out? Schedule a day off and let them know you’ve done it. You’ll soon start to see others do the same.