Results by John Austin, PhD

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Are They Rolling Their Eyes at You?

A client I once worked for had regular conference calls where executives shared information with hundreds of leaders who were all on the call at once.

One day, a group of people at a site were on the call all sitting around the speakerphone listening. One person made a smart crack about something the COO said.

…The group then started teeing off on every comment, while everyone laughed more and more, each trying to outdo the previous comment.

Much to their horror, someone on the call said…”We can all hear you. Could you please mute your phone?”

I wasn’t there, but I’m told it was cringeworthy.

…The room of listeners went silent, and someone reached for the phone to mute it. No one in that room said another word during the meeting, and they all probably wondered if anyone would get fired from this.

When I asked some questions about this event, people told me that they were joking around because they felt they were being asked to do things that their executives were notorious for NOT practicing themselves.

When I teach courses for leaders, it is common for people to say things like, “My supervisor doesn’t do this so why should I?”

So when you’re delivering a message to your teams and you get the sense that they might be rolling their eyes when they think you can’t see them…take it as a sign that probably someone who reports to you is not doing what you think they are doing, and you might be the cause.

I don’t believe that change has to start at the top. It can start anywhere in the business.

It starts with you and your own behavior.

You can make a change starting today. Just pick something and go after it.

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