When words differ from actions

Posted on May 13, 2020 by wjwh

“Actions speak louder than words.” This saying has been repeated so many times that it has become bland. However, the meaning of it has not lost any truth and it is a lesson that is frequently relearned in a way that much more painful than would be necessary. In this post I’ll go over some of the things I’ve experienced and try to find a common thread.

Accidentally destroying morale with dumb actions

It’s easy to find examples almost everywhere you look, but some cases for reference:

There are also many simpler examples, like a manager asking for input and about a plan but completely ignoring any feedback they get. I’m sure you can think of many more cases. So what gives rise to these type of scenarios? I can’t know for certain, but think it has to do with the people in question getting accustomed to their position and stopping to think about the consequences of these actions. In reality, people can only be fooled by words for a while and will eventually deduce your real standpoint from your actions.

Think about what you say with your behavior

Leadership is almost never easy, and sometimes all options are bad. However, it’s a mistake to point to this as an excuse for poorly thinking out your actions; there is also plenty of room for unforced errors. When you are in a leadership position, it is natural for others to look at you and notice not just what you say but also what you do. Don’t hamstring yourself by letting these two diverge.