Practice what you preach.
Haven’t we heard this many, many times?
Yet, interestingly enough, it’s one of the principles that I see neglected time and time again.
Let me give you a bit of insight:
I was talking to one of our employees who is looking to be a team leader. Mind you, a team leader in this organization is simply a step below managers. Team leaders have the responsibility to know the rules, follow and enforce them in a smooth and professional manner when a manager is not around.
This particular team member asked me what all being a team leader requires. So, I gave him the rundown of how team leads are to be leaders and what that meant. I gave him the powers that he had and the responsibility that these powers entail.
“However,” I told him “you cannot be a hypocrite.” “You cannot tell an employee not to do something while you turn around and do that exact thing.”
He then thew me for a loop when he answered, “You mean, like *Hannah?”
I was shocked and slightly defensive. Hannah is a member of management that constantly seems to want to improve staff by noticing how slack they have gotten on policy and trying to correct it.
As I was about to pounce on that comment, I thought to ask him what he meant by that comment.
He went on to list several examples of how that particular manager is always doing things that we encourage and strongly prohibit staff from doing.
I found that interesting.
A few days later, I walk in to see that manager, as well as another one, doing the very thing that we strongly discourage employees to do. Yet, these are the same managers who complain about these very issues and wonder why staff doesn’t take the threats seriously.
In life, I have learned that people don’t care what you say unless you back it up by action. This seems simple enough until it is applied to a management role.
A lot of times, we can be lulled into the thought that because we are the boss, people will automatically respect and follow us when that is simply not the case.
This position must be earned through discipline, mutual respect, and empathy.
You set the tone.
If you want your employees or followers to stop or start a particular behavior, you must do it as well. If it is not practical for you not to do this, be sure that your staff understands why you can do something while they cannot- as there are several times this may occur.
People pick up much more than you think. Even if others don’t agree with your rules, you will be respected for simply doing what you ask others to do or not to do.
*Name Changed for Protection of Privacy