You are a role model July 16, 2008Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Management, Management Principle.
Tags: behavior, employee behavior, management action, mirror, role model, walk the talk
You are a role model for your people.
Now, you may be thinking “I am not in this to be a role model!” There is no getting away from this responsibility. You will be a role model — either you will be a positive role model or you will be a negative role model.
You are a person your company has trusted to take care of its most valuable resource, the people. So, obviously in order to get that trust and respect from the company, I need to act just like you. This role model responsibility has a huge impact in your organization. Here’s a real example.
I recently worked with a group of non manger service providers at a large company. They provided IT support for the business units of their company. Their view of customer service was that the customer should be grateful I am spending time to help them get their job done. Not all of them had this attitude, but a large number of them did. I was actually surprised by the widespread level of this attitude. I decided to do some investigation as to the source of this poor behavior relative to customers. What I discovered was that this behavior was epidemic in this organization beginning with the senior manager. His dealings with his peers were atrocious. He was rude, condescending and just downright insulting. He was extremely bright and was an excellent problem solver. His view of himself was that his peers should be glad he was around to help them. Of course, most of the people in his organization used him as a role model.
My wife understands how the behavior and attitude of the manager can affect customer service. She finds a store that provides good value and good service; and then she memorizes the name of the store manager. Whenever the service level changes, she checks to see if there is a new store manager. If the level of service has dropped, she changes where she shops. She told me once that the biggest factor in good customer service and value was the store manager.
On the positive side of this role model phenomenon, I have worked with many organizations where the senior manager clearly demonstrated respect and concern for customers. The managers not only spoke about treating customers with respect, buy actually did it. These organizations were much more successful, and their customers gave them kudos for service.
Your people are also under your influence. They are watching you all the time to see how you handle situations. If you display negative behavior, they will generally mirror your behavior. Conversely, when you engage in positive behavior, they will respond the same way.
Here’s what the Big Dogz do to be positive role models:
- They communicate effectively. They are clear in sending message and are active listeners.
- They always speak positively about others, especially customers.
- They keep commitments.
- They provide constructive feedback.
- They spend time with people.
- They are sincere.
- They “walk the talk”, that is they do what they ask the employees to do.
Be aware that you are a role model. What kind of results are you getting? If you are not happy with the way people are behaving, perhaps you could take a serious look at your own behavior.