By Tina Marie Wohlfield
As the parent of two teenagers, I often find my parenting words of wisdom mirrors that to which I share or have experienced over the course of my years in HR. The connection is that in HR we interact and support people, as a parent, I am merely just attempting to raise good people (to whom will enter the workforce and be the people that HR interacts and supports).
As people, we often learn behaviors (good or bad) from others and apply those behaviors as being “normal” in later situations. I feel that the words parent and leader can often interchangeable. I share that interpretation based on a recent experience to which both of my sons encountered and the deep conversation that followed it.
How we communicate and respond to situations not only reflects on us, as leaders, but impresses those experiences on others. My friend Lisa used the word “decorum” and that many fail to have that sense of integrity or situational awareness as leaders. The ability as leaders to recognize when our behavior reaches that point of being nasty, unprofessional and intolerable for those who experience it. In the situation my sons encountered, a parent began throwing a tantrum, directing their wrath on a teenager in front of their child and others. Their behavior resulted in fear, intimidation and embarrassment for those who witnessed it. Unfortunately we experience similar behavior in interactions in the workplace from others, including those who lead.
As my sons and I discussed this experience more in depth, I shared that this can be translated directly into our role as leaders in the workplace, our community and in life. It is these behaviors that we exhibit towards others which create self-reflection moments.
If you were to rewind and watch your actions and interactions, are you acting like a leader you would want to work for yourself? We often judge others in their actions but fail to put the mirror up to ourselves to validate (or correction check) when we fail to live up to our “standard” of decorum in how we portray, interact and communicate with others. Because we are human, we may have one of “those moments” to which we can identify, learn and move forward from. Sometimes due to continued exposure “those moments” become our everyday, and that does not make your intolerable behavior ok in any situation.
So are you the leader you would want to work for?