Personify Leadership is an engaging two-day training offered by Team Synergy. It’s designed to help leaders exemplify eight core competencies for leadership effectiveness. One of those eight focuses on the heart of a leader. This module delves into the intentions of a leader and the signals that communicate those intentions.

Whether at work, at home, or in public we are always judging and making assumptions about other people’s intentions. To make those assumptions we consciously, and sometimes unconsciously, observe signals like words, actions, facial expressions, and more.

A few years back, I hired a gentleman from another country to join my team. After a number of years, he revealed to me that he originally had some reservations about working with me. He had been mistreated by a previous Caucasian boss and expected me to treat him the same way. He explained to me that when we started working together he closely watched the signals I sent to determine my intentions. Thankfully, he reported that I treated him with respect and genuinely made the effort to build a relationship with him. As a result, he changed his perception of white, American bosses.

This example shows how important it is to examine our intentions and signals. What are we communicating to those that we lead? Once they gauge our intentions, it affects their actions and attitudes at work. If I look out for the interest of others and treat them with respect, more often than not it will be reciprocated. Personify calls this the Law of Reciprocity.

In situations where intentions don’t match the signals, the boss will be seen as untrustworthy. If he tells his team that he wants them to support and encourage each other, but then doesn’t do it himself, why should they bother? The boss’ signals will cause the employees to question his intentions and realize that he is not someone to go to for support.

Are you getting the behavior you desire from your employees? If not, the first step might be to examine your intentions. If your intentions are right, then take a look at the signals you’re sending your employees. Do they match? Are your signals encouraging the behaviors you want to see in your employees? Personify Leaders align their intentions with the interests of the company, employees, and themselves.

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