There’s a short quote that appears very often on social media in recent days:
What you do speaks so loudly,
I can hardly hear what you’re saying.
Its truth is so outstanding, that some people sometimes get this for granted. Many that read this are tempted to go the direction of interpreting non-verbal communication… (which is of course also true). But the key message behind this quote is that whatever you say, people watch out for your actions a lot more than for your words.
“Walk the talk” is a very nice English expression that highlights exactly this aspect. In its basic form, is also the best personal effectiveness tip I can give. Acting in line with your thoughts and your words is the best way to get the people around you to understand you.
So, what’s so difficult about it? I think it is all down to the fact we, human beings, are intrinsically lazy. It is a lot easier to tell a colleague to give good feedback, then to do so ourselves. Plus we are also so very keen on knowing better than others… that the idea that other people may misunderstand our actions simply is not easily conceivable.
So? Well, act before you speak. If you want your team members to be open, be open yourself. If you want more support from them, be supportive. If you’re asking for more efficiency, stop calling for endless meetings every day. If it’s cost cuts that you need to pursue, start showing how you save the company’s money. Small steps will make your life soo much easier!