What Message Are You Really Delivering?

Words Have Power

Throughout our country, we have endless campaigns to stop bullying as we recognize the devastation that it can have on our youth. Despite these government funded campaigns, the behaviour of candidates in the upcoming election is wrought with extensive bullying.

This is a clear “do as I say, not as I do” tactic. Where’s the personal responsibility? If you are name-calling other candidates, what does that say about your character? I honestly can’t hear what you are using as an election platform through this barrage of bullying. And even of greater concern, our youth are witnessing these behaviours – and actions speak louder than words! If you are engaging in these behaviours, you are role modeling bullying as an acceptable practice.

Human nature seems to make it easy for any of us – yes, we are all capable of this inappropriate, judgmental and disrespectful behaviours – to rationalize our behaviour or simply pretend that we are getting results by the way we communicate.

I’ve seen this happen in many organizations. Plaques proudly embossed on the wall are sharing lofty Missions, Visions, and Values citing how these values are core to the organization. Yet, the day-to-day behaviour of some leaders is in direct opposition to the Mission, Vision, and Values. I remember one day walking into my Executive Director’s office and seeing a huge plaque about sexual harassment, only the following day to have an inappropriate gesture from that very same Executive Director. As a staff member, it was demoralizing.

Sometimes it is more subtle than the examples above, like a disrespectful comment or lack of emotional management skills that result in the manager yelling at direct reports. We need to ask for help to ensure that we are not engaging in nor tolerating these behaviours as the leaders in an organization.

Here are some emotional management tools that you can use today:

  1. Learn to manage your emotions. Identify the emotion and then take deep breaths. This can help you to stop reacting and make healthier choices about your communication.
  2. Start journaling using the stream of consciousness technique. As you write, keep asking yourself what’s really bothering me? Once you have the cause, there is often a sense of relief.
  3. Get an Executive Coach to assist you in understanding how you are received by others in your organization and to help you communicate more effectively.
  4. If you are aware that you have been bullying in your behaviour or communication, make a plan to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Then apologize to the individual or team that you acted inappropriately with. During your apology, be fully transparent and share your plan with them. Invite them to tell you if you are making them uncomfortable. And be aware, that if you have been bullying them, they are unlikely to feel safe enough to be open around your behaviour.
  5. Use self-reflection on a daily basis to identify when you have made someone uncomfortable or when you may have become overly emotional in your communications. Take active steps to prevent this from happening again.

At the end of the day, we are ultimately responsible for what we say and do. Choose to ensure that you are in full alignment with the Mission, Vision, and Values of your organization. Make sure that the message you want to deliver is congruent with what you do and say.

Let’s start fully respecting one another and become strong role models for our team members and the youth in our communities!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>