Your Internal Monologue can Sabotage your Leadership
Millions of messages play in your head all day, every day without the slightest awareness. Although they may seem innocuous, these mental nudges subtly shape your beliefs and drive both your emotions and actions. I ask you, are your thoughts sabotaging your ability to lead?
Leaders need to be aware of these messages to keep them from sabotaging their leadership goals.
Once aware, you may discover that your favorite “playlist” is counter-productive and damaging.
Address the Sabotaging Thoughts
When coaching leaders, I ask them to write down the messages that creep into their minds throughout their work day while interacting with staff. I was recently doing this exercise with a manager and we made a great discovery. One of her “oldies” was, “Choose your battles.” This one doesn’t sound bad on the surface. In fact, many of us play that one to help us prioritize where to put our energy. But when we started to peel back the layers beneath her use of this message, we realized that she was playing this dozens of times each day to avoid uncomfortable conflict which led to her staff deviating from their once high standards.
For example, she witnessed one of her ER nurses being abrupt with a lab tech and her gut told her to step in and correct the behavior but , “choose your battles,” played loudly and she didn’t act.. She later admitted that she was avoiding conflict.
Upon reflection, she recognized several incidents where she had avoided conflict. She understood that she should have intervened to send a message to her staff that they need to conduct themselves respectfully and consistently.
Leaders Don’t Duck
When I asked this manager to create a new, more useful playlist of useful thoughts, she created one entitled, “Leaders Don’t Duck.” Now, she plays this one first to remind herself to deal with undesirable behaviors quickly and consistently. She’s gaining confidence in her newfound strength and witnessing a higher level of accountability in her staff.
What’s on your playlist? Only you can decide which ones will be your “greatest hits.” If you are still unsure, contact Baird Group and we can teach you useful leadership skills to hold yourself and your staff accountable.
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