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Be Aware of How Your Behavior Affects Others

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 22, 2007

When leading a group of people, large or small, you must have a clear understanding of how your actions will be perceived by the people who report to you. Cultivating your own self-awareness will increase your effectiveness as a leader, and the respect your team members have for you.

Take time out at the end of each day to think about how people have responded to you in the interactions you’ve had. Were they listening to what you said? Did they appear to be impatient with you? Did they go silent on you or back off? These behavioral cues tell you whether your leadership approach is respected or if it needs more work.

Identify what aspects of your communication and behavior have been perceived positively or negatively, based on the responses you had today. Then, solicit feedback from team members about the impact of your behavior by asking, "How am I coming across lately? Can you give me some feedback?"

You will know you have increased your self-awareness when you:
•Make comments about your own behavior, such as: "I think I may be talking too much," or "I may have been a little abrupt with my response."
•Accept and acknowledge feedback about your behavior without reacting defensively or justifying your behavior
•Are willing to apologize when you recognize your behavior has been inappropriate
•Ask for feedback when you think your behavior is being perceived as inappropriate

Keith Ayers
Integro Leadership Institute
West Chester, Pa.

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