Walk the Talk – your Organisation Mirrors your Behaviour

How important are your actions as a manager? Have you ever thought that the organisation is reflecting your behaviours? Are your actions visible through your organisation? What is your real impact? Does your personal development reflect in the organisation? We often speak about “walk the talk” – how widely do you interpret this statement?

“Walk the talk” has for years been a credo in management. It is though sometimes difficult to embrace the wholeness of the concept.

The Reflection of Your Movements

Some years back, I coached a manager that struggled to move his organisation forward. We had been working together for a while and had an open dialogue. I told him that his organisation mirrors him. He turned towards me with some big eyes and said: ”Really, do you really think that I can do something about this?” My answer was obviously yes… this got to be a turnaround for his behaviour and his company. From this moment, the manager reflected differently about all his actions.

Often I do meet with managers that feel stuck in their relationship with their team members. As in all relationships in life, we are not allowed or in position to change others. The only way to start a movement within your organisation is to make the first move. If you’re stuck, you have to do things, say things or act in a different way than what you usually do.

In silence and movement you can show the reflection of people – Marcel Marceau

Then, miracles happen, when you start behaving in a different way, people around you are forced to change their position and the way they act.

The Organisation Expands as much as the Manager

On the other side, if you as a manager remain in the same position, the organisation will mirror you and do the same.

Another manager invited me to work with his organisation to get some assistance in reducing the high sick leave they struggled with. My first reaction was to ask for permission to organise a work session with the management team. The manager thought this would be a total waste of time – and wanted the sessions to be organised with the whole workforce… and he promised to join in to see the result at the end of each session to get some feedback.

It quite rapidly became extremely visible that the reason for the high sick leave was the lack of honest and trustworthy communication between the top manager and the rest of the company. In this case, external assistance was unfortunately of little help.

I like actors that are good with pantomime and that can transmit a lot by their presence and attitude more than through their dialogue – Guillermo del Toro

The organisation reflects the top management’s behaviour and it can never grow more than the manager opens up for.

From Personal Development to Organisational Development

Continuous development is a part of a manager’s role. The more you are willing to work with developing your knowledge, your self-awareness and your personality – the more your organisation can develop. It is a part of walking the talk to develop your own personality.

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self – Benjamin Franklin

Personal development is tough. It takes time, requires patience and new revelations open as you go deeper into your self-awareness. Personal development is just like peeling an onion – when you have taken off one layer, a new one appears and reflects new knowledge and requires more work.

Personal development requires courage, consciousness and patience… and, just like physical muscles, they need continuous training and to be maintained every week. For those managers who dare – new possibilities open and your organisation will expand.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way – John C. Maxwell

Our mission as leaders is to open the development space and hold and support the organisation with our attitude.

… so, be conscious, that just like a parent, your people mirrors you in good days and in bad days and that they will expand and become a performing organisation with your growth!

Good luck with your self-development and creating a consciously mirroring organisation!