Habit 2 of 7

Last week, we began a series on habits that get in the way of a good leader being a great leader.  Habit No. 1 is Hinting and Complaining, which is lack of clarity in communication. 

In addition to being clear when setting expectations, successful leaders consider the meaning behind another person’s actions, i.e., holding off on judging behavior until being sure of its underlying basis.

Habit No. 2: Assigning an incorrect meaning.

Human beings assume.  A lot.  We see someone do something, and we immediately think we know what’s going on in that person’s mind.

The situation: An employee rushed out of the room following a meeting. The chair isn’t put back in place, and her coffee cup is left on the conference room table.

The assumption:  Intentional disregard.  In addition to thinking the employee is careless and messy and doesn’t value the company’s property, the assuming leader may also believe this behavior is a reflection on his/her leadership capabilities. Other team members may decide that the employee is intentionally ignoring the code of professionalism or disrespecting the team.

The facts: The employee received an important text message from her spouse during the meeting asking that she call him as quickly as possible.  When the meeting adjourned, the employee hurried out to contact her husband.  Her mind was focused on the worst-case scenario she feared, not on chairs or coffee cups.

What can we do instead of judging the behavior of others?

Heathier Habit: Believe the best in your employees, leaders, and peers.  Give the benefit of the doubt and don’t automatically interpret their actions as a slight against you.  The behavior displayed rarely actually has the knee-jerk false meaning we’ve assigned it. 

I can help you grow into a truly excellent leader who is aware of personal habits, such as assigning false meanings to others’ actions, and the negative impact those habits have on your effectiveness. Let’s chat!


P.S.  Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!

P.P.S.  With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, I am a proven results-driven leader.  My expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching.  I am a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust.