Thursday, 10 November 2011

Alignment of Your Beliefs and Your Actions

As a leader, do your actions align with your professed beliefs?

Many people feel that any decision is better than no decision. After all, you can always change direction at a later date. But, in an attempt to appear decisive, leaders may prematurely push for an answer. And if there isn't a clear conclusion, they'll provide one. This undermines a team's ability to make a collective decision. Pretty soon people stop participating because they assume you've made up your mind in advance. If you can't agree, don't impose an answer. Instead, end the discussion by putting a process in place that yields decisions—even slowly-made ones—that everyone can accept. That way you won't lose your staff's goodwill next time around.

Many of us profess to seek and honour collaborative decision-making.  However, if your espoused beliefs don't align with your actions, your staff will soon figure this out and may begin to disengage.  Remember, as a leader, people are watching you.  And they are often watching for the alignment between what you say you believe in and what you actually do. 

Adapted from "How to Cultivate Engaged Employees" by Charalambos A. Vlachoutsicos.

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