How Your Behaviour Affects Others

Some years back I remember walking along a corridor with a CEO. A member of his organization passed us and greeted him. He did not respond.

When we returned to his office I mentioned the incident and he was not pleased. I wondered what his silence has cost the organization in lost motivation. What if this person had taken offense and mentioned it to others? The negative effect could have spread to many.

Do you wonder about the effect of your behaviour on others? When you put a stop to unfounded gossip by merely speaking out you could be stopping a message that could cost the organization many thousands of dollars.

I also heard about a very highly skilled technical person who was also a manager. He was short-tempered and rude when he didn’t get what he wanted. He was also considered too technically skilled to lose so people would have to tolerate his temper tantrums. Imagine the cost in turnover.

How can you measure the effect of your behaviour? Do people copy your positive behaviour as well as the negative?

Self awareness and self assessment are truly gifts from above. As manager of a business or a home, we need to be able to read and understand our emotions and recognise their effect on others and their work performance. We also need to be able to accurately assess our own strengths and weaknesses in this area of emotional maturity.

Try this for size…Ask someone how your behaviour affects them. Listen carefully to the answer and don’t defend yourself or rationalise your behaviour. Ask the person to nominate areas that you could improve. What behaviours would you like me to change to support you more and help you to become more productive? Listen very carefully. I remember one manager being told… simply listen to me without interrupting.

Emotional skills will take time to develop so don’t promise an immediate improvement. Maybe get some help or coaching. It is a matter of trial and feedback. Keep going until you have developed the new skills. Maybe you withdraw when there is conflict. Maybe you lose your temper. It will take time to modify these responses but the benefits will be worth the effort. Remember practice makes permanent and only perfect practice makes perfect. A little practice each day will help you make progress.

There is some wonderful reading on the subject on emotional intelligence but it is the practice that will make a difference.


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