How Contagious Are You?

No reason to panic, but Mr. and Mrs. Contagious are coming to town. This is not about some mysterious flu though and will not make the news either. It’s just that our actions are often copied by those around us, especially by those who see us role models – so it’s up to us to set the right example.

contagiousFoto Pixabay

We can either name them parents, managers, role models, influencers or mere colleagues: their behaviors can be contagious, if you let them, both in a positive and negative manner.

When you manage other people, your behavior defines to a large extent the behavior of the team. I may have written about it a couple of times already, but teaching by example is vital in to professional and personal development: you can’t ban smoking inside the building while holding a cigarette. You can’t smoke in your cubicle and pretend the smoke stays there; this is probably the reason why restaurants with smoking areas didn’t work either.

Once upon a time a manager picked on the employee pissing in the pool and the employee replied annoyed that everyone does it, including the manager scolding him at the time.

The angry manager replied, yelling: 

– It’s true, but I am not doing it from the trampoline!!!

Getting back to role models, what can you do as a manager so that your team (and maybe not just it) to copy your behavior in the best sense of the word?

First, you need to know exactly what you are doing, what are your team’s objectives and help them achieve those objectives; if they are performing well, so will you. Wow, what an epiphany! Even if this seems simple at first sight, the manager’s role is to support the team and not the other way round. Just wanted to clarify this aspect, so you won’t end up with the impression that your subordinates are your personal slaves and need to execute whatever comes out of your mouth without questioning it. 

Last but not least, you need to show your team that you ask from them what you already ask from yourself. It’s about actions, not statements.

If you are wondering what lies between the first and last phrases in this article, the answer is years and years of ethical and consistent behavior. When you start achieving some things, the followers will also show up. At the same time, the haters will come as well and that is a good thing. When everyone agrees with you, no matter what you do, that’s the moment you should start worrying. 

Good luck succeeding!

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