Businessman Brainstorming About Leadership

People always say you can’t change behaviors – hogwash!

The trick is, to change the behaviors of others, you need to start with your own. Try these five techniques and see what happens!



  1. Nip negative behaviors in the bud:   So let’s say you’re in a meeting and someone does something nonproductive (interrupts, yells, blames, etc.). Many times we’ve been coached to ignore this behavior during the meeting and address it after the fact behind closed door.  The problem is that everyone saw you “not address it.”  As a result the bad behavior is seen as “acceptable” and the message is “grin and bear it.” Dealing with it professionally in the moment says “this will not be tolerated” and empowers others to model you in professionally addressing poor behaviors going forward.

  2. Create performance ownership: Do 1:1’s with direct reports sometimes feel rote, tedious, and a little bit like “pulling teeth?” Consider structuring 1:1’s as a presentation employees give to you on the status of their work. Have them come prepared with agenda, back-up documents and any obstacles they are facing. They’ll feel motivated and you’ll learn a lot more by having them “own informing you!”  (Combine this with #4 for even greater success!)

  3. Transform feedback discussions: Hate giving feedback?  Rather than listing out the strengths and weaknesses of your employees – ask them to tell you how they think they are doing. Amazing how the defensiveness melts away when they are the ones to bring up the topic and you can then have a positive reinforcing, and productive action planning, dialogue.

  4. “Ask not what your employees can do for you, but what you can do for them:” Your job is to ensure your employees are successful – asking them “how can I help you?” is a great start!

  5. Praise great behaviors: Everyone wants to be successful – it’s just up to you to praise (thereby identifying) the successful traits. The more you do it, publicly and privately, the more everyone will want to emulate them!


I encourage you to try these five simple actions – they can really change your world!



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