Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Word to the Wise

I was perusing one of my favorite blogs The Daily Muse and came across an article that made me cringe. I believe this post was meant to be humorous, but we know that there has to be some truth to it in order for it to resonate with readers; and that my friend is no laughing matter.

As leaders do we really say what we mean?  Do we think before we speak?  I think this graphic does beg us to do some self reflection to make sure our words are truthful and beneficial.  Here are a few things to consider that are represented in the Daily Muse post:

  • Is what we are saying just lip service?  Are we saying what we know we are supposed to but we don't actually believe it?  If so why?  Is there something we can do to change our perspective or circumstances?
  • Is what we are saying revealing a bad attitude that we need to adjust?   If the answer to this is yes, fix it before it comes back to bite you.
  • Are we saying things that sound "nice" because we don't want to deal with the consequences of telling the truth?  In this case is there something you could say to buy you time that is still honest, but allows you to compose your thoughts before you give an honest opinion?
  • Are the questions we are asking really fishing for compliments?  Or could the way we are asking questions be interpreted that way?  If so work at learning how to self-promote without appearing self-promotional.

Get in the habit of saying what you mean and beware of the temptation to use your words lightly.  Integrity begins with honesty and trustworthiness and being trusted at your word is essential to having a positive influence on your team.  Besides that, everything you say says something about you - the good thing is, you are completely in charge of that!

Your Take

How did reading that graphic make you feel?  

Do you have any other ideas about what "bosses" say and what they mean or suggestions of how to improve that?  Please add your comments.

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  1. I thought that was really interesting. As a leader I have always tried to enpower the people that I worked with. There is always an employee that you have and you would rather not deal with on a daily basis but as the person’s leader, I think that you still have an obligation to mentor that person and help them around the obstacles that you are struggling with because if you are struggling with it, the person’s next manage will struggle with it. And there is a good possible, they will end up as a target of the kind of thinking on the chart.
    I have had bosses that I am sure treated people this way me included. My rule for dealing with bosses like that is perfecting my craft and moving on to a better situation. As a leader, I think you have a responsible to help develop the people that you are working with to their full potential and to LISTEN to their ideas. Not feel threaten by their potential.

  2. Cynthia, thanks for your comments! I'm glad to hear you found that post interesting - I was so disappointed when I first read that graphic. I've done a lot of study on the perception of leaders by their teams and saying one thing and doing another is the single biggest turn-off for employees. That is the quickest way to lose respect and leadership ability.

    I agree that listening to all members of a team and considering all perspectives is essential to the best possible outcomes.

    Thanks for sharing your views on this topic!


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