I do a lot of executive coaching, working with people in the corporate world who are navigating changes. I got an email today from someone who was describing how their organization talks in big town hall meetings, and then how they actually treat people on a day-to-day basis. The talk and the actions are not syncing up – no big surprise there. They talked a lot about the words that were said in public and the words spoken in private. Those two conversations do not gel and the disconnect is beginning to show within the organization. I thought this anonymous quote summed up that problem very well. Words lead to deeds.
Whether it is an organization or our own kitchen table, what we say and how we behave need to match in order for our credibility and character to be in sync. No one respects a leader or parent who says one thing and does another. The old ‘do what I say not what I do’ philosophy is not viable. People are smarter than that. They listen to your actions and your words just fall flat. I make common sense to live out the words you are speaking, yet common sense does not mean it is always a common practice.
What if today you meant everything you said? If your words and actions were in alignment? How wold your tomorrow and next week be different? Professing calm and acting frantic just doesn’t jive, and people figure that out. If you want to be seen as a leader, to earn the respect and support of peers, your team or your children, then do what you say and say what you do. Otherwise you are just blowing steam and people tune you out. Words lead to deeds and the best words are the ones that support and solidify your actions. Once you master that, the rest falls into place.