Sometimes people “put on a face” at work which is different than who they are at home or with friends. After all, to be a good manager (or fill in the blank), they need to act in this certain way.
Your outside actions and words come from your inside beliefs and are directed by your inside values. When you act in a certain way that is different than you naturally act, you create a misalignment that eventually leads to dissatisfaction. People are happiest when they allow their actions to naturally come out of their beliefs and values.
And, it is truly important that we are always upgrading our beliefs and values. While we need to have our outside actions match our inside beliefs, it may be that the beliefs need to be upgraded to be most effective. The beliefs and values we’ve grown up with and assumed, simply because that’s what we saw, might be limited and skewed.
Imagine someone growing up in a family with parents who worked in the steel mills as laborers. When they are themselves adults, what beliefs and values do they have? Is there anything they grew up with that would prepare them to be a successful manager? There are certainly some basic values about how to respect others that are still effective. And, yet, there may be a chip on their shoulder about bosses or owners. This chip is going to get very heavy when they decide to go into management themselves.
So, while I say to match your outside actions to your inside beliefs, remember that the beliefs may need to be upgraded.
You might be wondering how to upgrade your beliefs. Here are a few suggestions based on my own experiences:
- Look around for examples of successful people doing what you’d like to do. Then, study them or interview them to learn what underlying beliefs guide them. Pick one belief that is new for you. Find resources such as other people or books to help you research the new idea until it becomes a part of your beliefs.
- Read books that describe successful management techniques. Pick one of the ideas that’s new and feels important. Study that new belief until you feel your own belief shifting. Once your belief shifts, it naturally follows that your outside actions also shift.
- Ask for feedback from your staff about your management style. Do your best to make it anonymous to get better input. Take an area that is weak and do an honest inventory of yourself. Take some time to investigate what actions might be more effective. Then, visualize what belief might have to change in order for you to do that in a different way. Then, change your mind about it to change your belief about it. Again, once your belief shifts, your outside actions shift, too.
It is possible to “put on” a set of actions on the outside that are different than the beliefs on the inside. However, if you do that, eventually you find that it is stressful and ineffective. It is most effective to shift the inside beliefs and values and then naturally allow the outside actions to flow naturally directed from within.
Pick an area that you’d like to improve on. Then, think about what you believe and what your values currently are around that. Find someone to help you define a new belief and begin to practice that new belief. Once the new belief becomes more natural, watch how your outside actions begin to shift!
Pick one of these books to read. Then, as you read it, find one belief that is described that seems “right” to you.
The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol
The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence (Revised) by Robert Anthony
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg, John David Mann