Actions speak louder than words. It’s a cliché because it’s true.

What you DO communicates far more powerfully than what you SAY and if your words and actions are out of alignment, it’s your actions people will believe.

Simon was an old-school ‘command and control’ leader who often told his staff that respect was one of his core values.

The problem was, respect in Simon’s world only seemed to go one way. While he expected (and often demanded) respect from his staff, Simon didn’t extend the same respect to them.

He bulldozed ideas, shut down debate, often exploded in frustration, became defensive if someone tried to give him feedback, and dismissed opinions that differed from his.

For all his talk about the importance of respect, Simon’s actions communicated another message entirely. And it was his actions that staff believed.

Every time Simon spoke about respect, it created disconnection and resentment amongst his team.

Rather than increase the respect staff had for him with his passionate speeches, the misalignment between his actions and words meant he lost respect – the very thing he was seeking.

If you say you value respect in the workplace, want to improve your communication, be a better leader, or manage yourself more effectively under pressure – great!

But what are you DOING about it?

What plan have you put in place? What action are you taking? What steps have you made to ensure that what you do matches what you say?

We all have things we would, could, or should do. But life is not lived in theory, it’s lived in practice and what we do speaks the loudest.