Business leadership

Why good leaders should practice what they preach

May 5, 2020 | By Charissa Mitsikas-Beasley, Vitil People Solutions

If I tell you I’m feeling happy, but my face tells a different story, what are you more inclined to believe? My hunched shoulders and trembling body; or the words “I am feeling happy today”?

You will go with my actions. You will go with what you see and experience in front of you. Even to the point of completely discounting the words I have spoken.

This is human nature. People relate to what they can interpret and understand. People seek synergies with friends, family and co-workers. This connection cannot be academic – it must be based on a core set of values or beliefs by which we set our moral compass and standards. Both personally and professionally.

In the Perth workplace this translates to how we lead and how we are led. Australian companies who invest in their people solutions should have (or work towards having) a Human Resource Talent Development Program geared to this goal. Your leadership team must first and foremost embody the value system you have put in place as your ethical benchmark.

As a company, this is what you hope to be recognised for.

As reported in the February 2019 issue of HRM, one out of three managers harm the overall success of their business by performing poorly during high-stake conversations. In a US study by training company VitalSmarts, research found that 62 per cent of people are likely to leave their job when they consider their manager to be a “hothead”. Leaders susceptible to tantrums were also found to hurt productivity.

On the flipside, it’s clear that the research supports the “actions speak louder than words” model of behaviour in leadership. When a manager practices good communication in high-stakes situations, teams are 25 per cent more likely to achieve budget targets and 47 per cent more likely to meet deadlines.

Behaviours are easily mirrored in a work culture heavily reliant on communication between people – be that written, verbal or virtual. How we deliver a message, regardless of the message channel, is critical to how it is interpreted, responded to and then re-absorbed into the business. The end game should be productivity and the common good for the business and the wider community.

A good leader should actively educate themselves in what they can do better. Self-reflection and improvement go hand-in-hand. Without an appreciation for our shortcomings, in our technical skills and our “soft skill” development, having difficult conversations and networking are ineffective. To motivate our teams and ultimately to stay motivated ourselves, we must live our own values in such a way that is visible to those around us.

Essentially, a good leader is true to their own brand. Consistent, well-researched and able to adapt to change in an agile work environment, without changing their moral standpoint.

Even if they say they aren’t good at what they do, we know just by watching them that they are leading the way.

When was the last time you checked in with your leadership team?

Vitil Outsourced Human Resources Consultants

Vitil People Solutions is a boutique HR consulting firm based across Perth, who offer flexible, reliable and affordable outsourced human resource support, people solutions and recruitment services, where your team is the key focus. By outsourcing HR to an expert in Human Resource Services, our experienced professionals can objectively assess your environment, your human capital needs, and ensure we provide advice and support to further develop your team and your businesses performance.

Contact us to discuss tailoring HR solutions to your business needs.

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