As a leader, whether of a family, team, organization or country, you are in a position of influence. And whether you are conscious of what sort of influence you are having or not, you are still influencing.
For example, a manager who always is quick to scold, criticize or belittle has used her influence to set the tone of the facility that says, “Making others wrong is fine by me, in fact, is promoted by me.” Guess how your team members will respond?
The corollary is if a team leader consistently is true to her word, gives others the benefit of the doubt, makes decisions after asking for the thoughts of her core team members and treats others as fellow human beings, she is influencing the strategy and responses of the workplace also. But the message is different. It says, “Being trustworthy and egalitarian are attributes I value and so value them when I see others doing them.”
It is human nature to want to be accepted and appreciated. As a child we are taught it is easier when we make mom or dad happy, not irritated. We begin to adapt our behaviors so we fit in, at least until we are old enough to want to not fit in with our parents any longer. Let’s imagine at our job, we have chosen to be there, we have been hired for our unique attributes and want to excel. What is the best way to do that? Give the boss what he wants.
This is why it is all important for a boss to be conscious of the messages he is sending the rest of the company. This establishes the template or standard for how his people can operate. There don’t have to be spoken words, since actions speak louder anyway, but if actions are consistent, the message is consistent. Treat others how you want to be treated, give others the benefit of the doubt, listen as if someone were your equal.
Bottom line, companies that encourage openness and a safe environment (they won’t get their heads chewed off for some random reason) are always more apt to be more creative, engage in more risk taking ideas, be a more considerate team player and more loyal. Why would they want to leave, if they feel honored and appreciated there?
So it is to the benefit of the entire company for you as a leader to use your influence in a conscious way, raising the standard and the employee satisfaction.