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Your intentions must match your behaviour

Meet Justine, my client who calls herself “spicy”. What does that mean? Well Justine’s tone of voice can be a little harsh sometimes.  She is known to roll her eyes in meetings when she is frustrated. She can also be a little too blunt when giving feedback.

Yet, until a recent coaching conversation that I had with Justine, she did not believe that her behaviour was an issue.

“My team knows that I mean well,” has been her mindset in the past.

So, to get Justine to have a bit of a mindset shift, I taught her one of my favorite expressions which is:

Your intention MUST match your behaviour!

So, I asked Justine the following question:

“What is your intention with your team? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create?”

She told me that she wants to create a high-performing team and an open, honest, high-trust culture.

So, I asked her, “When you use a “spicy” tone with your team, is your intention and behaviour matching?

She took a very long pause.

I could see her thinking….really thinking.

She then answered, “no”.

Through our conversation, Justine realized that if her intention is to create an open, high-trust environment on her team, her harsh tone is actually doing the opposite. It is demotivating her team. It’s causing people to hold back and not share their thoughts and opinions.

So now, Justine knows to pause more. Think about her intention and then align her behaviour. She is working on being less “spicy” and is very conscious that she needs to choose a tone that is more open since that is the environment she wants to create.

After all…leaders set the tone.

We all have strengths and weakness that we need to consider.

So, let me ask you these key questions:

  • What is your intention with your team?
  • What kind of atmosphere do you want to create?
  • Are your intentions and behaviours aligned?

Successful leaders lead consciously.

They think about their behaviour and the impact that it has on the people around them.

Do you?

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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