As leaders, parents, coaches or teachers, we transmit strong non-verbal messages all the time—in the form of actions, or even inaction. The familiar adage, ‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’ is truth and one of the most epic employee engagement tips around. Pause and consider this for a moment: We’re essentially live-streaming messages to employees all the time—yet we’re often sending these messages without being conscious of it and without the benefit of any edits or approvals.
But, here’s the great news: By simply bringing our non-verbal messaging to a conscious level, we’ll become much more effective leaders—creating high-performing teams and organizations.
Bringing Non-Verbal Messages to a Conscious Level
Most of us already realize that, without speaking a word, body language communicates volumes. Folded arms may indicate that the person we’re conversing with isn’t open to what we’re saying. Rolled eyes might mean they’re annoyed with us. Since we understand this phenomenon, we pay attention to the body language of others and we try to exhibit positive body language ourselves. However, body language is just one form of non-verbal communication. Do we pay enough attention to other methods?
Employees constantly observe leaders’ actions and translate them into meaning. They observe how we use our time, how we allocate resources, how much integrity we demonstrate and how we treat them and all members of the team. This may seem rather intimidating, but once you get the big concept behind it, you can relax, pay attention and practice managing it.
The Big Concept: Great Leaders Serve Others
In his ‘Real Leaders Serve’ article, Simon Sinek maintains that ‘the truly effective and inspiring leaders aren’t actually driven to lead people; they are driven to serve them… For a leader to be a leader, they need a following. And why should any individual want to follow another individual unless they feel that person will look out for them and their interests?”
How can an employee tell if his leader is looking out for him? Hint: It’s not as much what the leaders say, as what they do, and how they treat others on the team. Employees typically identify with their fellow teammates and can easily imagine themselves being in the same situations their coworkers are in. Therefore, how we, as leaders, treat each team member affects the other team members more than we might realize.
Review and Edit Your Actions
It’s good practice to review and edit your actions. Ask yourself the following questions and discover ways to earn or increase your employees’ trust:
Demonstrating care for your employees through your words and your actions will keep them engaged and working to their fullest potential!