Be the Model

How many times have we been a part of a team or the leader of a team, where behaviors are disruptive to the success of the team? These behaviors can be anything from classic passive aggressive behavior to constant interruptions by a certain person when in meetings to someone always being late. This can be super frustrating and discouraging. What can we do about it?

I have observed one interesting approach, if we are up for the challenge, which helps to change this dynamic. It goes back to the classic Ghandi quotation: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

In other words, we have the opportunity to model the behaviors (and the change) we wish to see.

First  example – let’s say we have an individual in our lives or on our teams who consistently has a negative perspective on virtually everything. From the weather, to where they are in their lives, to the economic conditions our world is facing. How can we respond to this? We could confront that person with the fact they consistently choose a negative perspective. We could complain to our friends and colleagues about our disgust with this approach. Are these the best approaches? Probably not. Another approach could be to consistently show a positive attitude and ‘change the frame’ with this person when these issues come up.

Second example – let’s say we have a person that is always interrupting, cutting us off mid-sentence. This can be so annoying! Instead of confronting him/her with this issue, what if we made a pact with ourselves to not interrupt this person – ever. Despite how frustrating this can become – we just decide to let them ‘run their course.’ And, we continue to show the behavior we wish to see.

As individuals, and as leaders, we have the opportunity to ‘be the change’ we wish to see in the world. What’s holding us back? Let’s go first and set the example.