Whether an entry level employee or a top executive, at the end of the day, we are all human. Part of that humanness is being frustrated on occasion, often times with coworkers and colleagues that we have to work with on a day to day basis. If you happen to be in a supervisory position, part of your responsibility as a manager is to lead by example. To “walk the talk” and practice what you preach; not just telling, but showing your employees how to behave in a professional manner.
In a recent blog post, we discussed workplace grudges and provided you with some tips on how to move past feelings of perpetual bitterness and resentment and work through conflict in a healthy and productive manner. Forgiveness is another factor that ties into working through conflict, as we must all focus on forgiving not only others, but ourselves for mistakes and behaviors that may have been exhibited in a less than ideal manner.
What do both of these concepts have in common? The need to take the high road and leading by example.
At times, walking the talk can be easier said than done. While it can certainly be a challenge to work through workplace conflict in a dignified manner, opting to take the high road rather than giving the offending party a piece of your mind, it is important to realize that your actions and words are a physical manifestation of the expectations you have set forth for your employees. By setting the example of how you expect things to be done, and how to expect employees to behave and interact, you can ensure that your employees not only have clear expectations set forth for them, but respect their manager in that they understand that everyone is held to the same standards of conduct.
Walking the talk is a crucial skill skill for any manager to develop. Particularly as it pertains to working your way through tough, interpersonal conflicts, it is important to set that example for your employees so they have a standard to hold themselves to. By taking responsibility not only for the actions of your employees, but for yourself, by taking accountability when things go wrong, you will earn respect and admiration from your employees and colleagues. Running a successful organization or department is a team effort, and as the captain of the ship, managers need to act the part and set the example, both with the positive and negative.