When you become a manager something strange happens; everyone starts watching everything you do and your actions immediately start to impact the work environment. And people talk….yes, they talk about everything you say, and even more about everything you do.
A Manager’s Actions and Impact
Does a manager really have that much impact on the workplace? Yes! You have the power to completely change the atmosphere of your workplace by your actions. I have seen offices that have been totally converted within 6 months of a new manager coming in. A tense, unhappy, unproductive workplace morphed into an environment where people are enthusiastic, helping each other, and productive. And you know what goes along with that? Success! Results! All those things your boss is looking for. Not to mention that you and your whole team will be happier because they’re successful.
Actions speak louder than words. How you dress, when you arrive at work, when you leave work, how you respond to people, how long you take for lunch. I know, you’re the boss and you can do whatever you want, right? But the truth is that everything you do either re-enforces the messages you convey to your employees or it has the opposite effect.
If you tell your employees they need to arrive on time and show up late yourself then they will think it’s okay to be late. If you tell your employees that they need to treat other employees with respect, but you show any type of disrespect to your employees, then they’ll think it’s okay to disrespect their co-workers.
The biggest issue with this is that you lose your credibility when you say one thing and do another. I hear many managers say that their employees should have more respect for them. You know how it goes; respect needs to be earned, and you can earn it by showing people that you mean what you say. Do you “Walk the Talk?”
Effective Leadership Needs Self-Awareness
Effective leadership involves the ability to recognize your own actions and understand how everything you do impacts your team.
Does it bother you when you hear an employee talking negatively about a co-worker? Mirror check – do you talk negatively about co-workers? What about how you talk about your boss? You seriously don’t want to encourage negative ‘boss talk!’
So remember when you walk through the door every morning that you are on stage. Your actions, more than your words, will set the tone for the work environment. If you want enthusiastic employees, then come through the door with enthusiasm! Leave the problems with the spouse, the kids, the cat, the whatever, at home and put on your Managers Face. It may not always be easy to do but it’s what you signed up for when you said “Yes, I want that manager job!”
Mean what you say, and show what you say, and you will find that your effectiveness as a leader will grow and your ability to create a positive working environment will blossom.