THURSDAY THOUGHTS! - Does behaviour matter?

Posted by | May 10, 2012 | Thursday Thoughts | No Comments

I’ve spent some time lately analysing workplace behaviour and how it impacts on people.  Part of this process discussed:

“If behaviour is not observed, does it matter?”

Interesting question don’t you think?  It reminded me of the “scream in a vacuum” concept.

Personally, I think behaviour, observed or not DOES matter.  Being a great believer in self reflection, I strongly believe that we can observe ourselves and observation does not need to be by another party.  Often I have caught myself doing something and its instantly reminded me of my mother, or someone I admired or occasionally, someone I didn’t!  It’s prompted me to reflect why I did something, or said something in that way and a mental note has been added to the bank to do something differently (or not) in the future.

Language plays a great part in this.  How often have you heard:

  • I need that by close of play
  • On balance I’ve made this decision and you may not like it
  • I’ve had a great idea on how to do that differently, hear me out
  • How do you feel about the way that went?

Do you react or behave differently depending upon the way something is said rather than the actual words?  Does the tone affect you?  How do different styles of questions affect you?  Do you brace yourself with one particular person and not others?

All these things depict behaviour, so this week, I’m interested in:

“Does behaviour matter?”

Thanks for visiting this week’s topic.  Feel free to comment (every one gets answered) but please, do always want to return often!

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Sharon Davidson
Organisational development professional specialising in personal, team and whole organisation improvement. Full range of OD tools and techniques available including: Belbin team role analysis; learning style inventories; 360 degree feedback; cultural assessments; personality psychometrics; strategic planning and workshop facilitation. (This list is not exhaustive!)

Improvement is everyone's concern: +44 1550 720902 will start that process today.

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  • alisonbcrawford says:

    I hear a lot of ‘I need that by close of play’ and ‘On balance I’ve made this decision and you may not like it’, but not the other two. Having been subject to some less than desirable decisions by my bosses, approach and handling is everything. I was relatively OK about being told I was to be made redundant, I was not OK about being told I had to work on another team for two months, it was all in the handling. I try to remember this when I’m dishing out some bad news or grotty tasks.

    I have to say I do think I have ‘adapted’ to some people, knowing that they are not very good on the soft skills, but otherwise good to work with.

    I have used ‘How do you feel about the way that went?’ this past couple of weeks when doing appraisals. It works!

  • Aresko says:

    Alison, like a lot of folk who have strong-minded managers, I suspect you have been surrounded by Shaper and Monitor Evaluator type bosses (in Belbin terms!) and perhaps not so many Plants and Co-ordinators 🙂 You can tell an awful lot from the language folk use: these 4 are typical of the labels I’ve thrown into this response.

    I’m glad you have seen, and modelled your own behaviour, on what you have appreciated yourself in the past. Folk will remember you for that and for a manager to be remembered for good things, always puts a smile on my face.

  • Peggy Edwards says:

    I certainly think they way you are told something certainly makes a difference. I recall a recent boss of mine taking me to lunch to a ‘bottom kicking party’ and although I felt it wasn’t warrented I certainly appreciated the way the message was delivered. It was done fairly and rationaly without any shouting. I dread the ‘how do you feel about the way that went’ as I have been caught by this before when I felt things went OK only for it to be used as an excuse to have a go.

  • Aresko says:

    I think its vitally important that actions speak louder than words, and by that I mean that behaviour subsequent to the delivery of the message is equally as important – because its longer-lasting. Giving feedback is a real skill. It sounds like your second example was poorly executed and perhaps the person asking was trying to be the manager they most certainly couldn’t live up to. Being old and crinkly, I’ve seen this a lot – the manager who has learnt a bit of theory and is doing and saying things they believe is what the other person wants to hear, or mis-interprets a situation and tries to behave in a way they think is expected, but sadly find themselves ill equipped to deal with. The positive angle to this is that I see an omnipresent need for insightful management training and well delivered 360 feedback 🙂

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