Think Before You Act
We have heard the old saying “think before you speak;” but have you ever heard “think before you act?”
Our actions are always under surveillance. Someone is always watching what we do.
What message do your actions convey?
Is your behavior consistent Monday to Monday, or do people wonder which version of you they’ll get when they interact with you?
Influence isn’t one dimensional. It’s sights, sounds and how we make others feel. You’re always under surveillance. Everything you do and say either enhances or jeopardize your influence.
It’s easy when stakes are high to try and ‘turn on’ our A-game, but then we tend to get lazy in casual conversations.
This inconsistency leaves others wondering… who we really are. It damages our reputation, credibility and our ability to influence others to willingly act on what we have to say.
The idea of turning on your personality in one place versus another is exhausting. It’s a charade no one can keep up with. You must be believable.
What if you had that high stakes presentation and you nailed it.
Everything you practiced was performed perfectly. But then, after the presentation, you ran into a coworker in the hallway, and you resorted to your old habits.
Which person – do you think your coworker is going to believe?
There are three reasons leaders must demonstrate consistency in all they do.
Hypocritical actions are reputation killers yet fail to practice what they preach.
It’s the executive who says employee contributions matter but then fails to get to know their staff.
It’s the manager that demands everyone put away their phones before a staff meeting yet are seen distracted on their own device.
Accountability matters. You must act in the same way you expect others to. Trust is not built from a “do as I say, not as I do” approach.
How many times have you overreacted in a moment of frustration?
Maybe you’re frustrated with the poor service at a local coffee shop and decided to speak up in a way that doesn’t reflect patience or respect.
Have you ever stopped to consider who is watching your reaction?
Maybe it’s the prospect you’re meeting with next week, or the investor researching your firm. Perhaps it’s the employee you’re trying to recruit or the executive you want to partner with.
You’re always under surveillance. Someone is always watching.
Thinking before you act reminds you to remain calm, even in challenging situations.
Next time you feel frustrated, save yourself the embarrassing foot-in-mouth moment by thinking before you act.
Even the very best require continual coaching to get better. Every successful athlete seeks the honest feedback of a coach to improve.
Unfortunately, the higher up the corporate ladder most leaders climb, the less likely they are to receive honest feedback.
Eventually, everyone glosses over the hard truth needed to really improve. No matter how impressive your title is, you need coaching to improve.
Get yourself a professional coach or mentor. They will help you really understand how others perceive you.
Coaching is necessary to become consistent. It helps you fine tune every aspect of your communication skills so you can treat every conversation like a high stakes interaction.
Think before you act to remain consistent in everything you do.
When you communicate with consistency Monday to Monday, you’ll enhance the way you do business, build stronger relationships, and move your listeners to act.
By: Kevin Eastman
If you missed one of Stacey’s previous blogs or tips, visit her online.
Check out our Research on Influence in conjunction with the University of Northern Colorado HERE.