In the workplace, your mood, behaviour and the way you communicate is contagious – particularly if you’re the leader. It rubs off on those around you.

If you yell and scream when stressed, don’t be surprised if others in your team start responding to pressure in a similar way. If your anger is expressed in a dark and miserable mood, chances are that others in the office will become sad and miserable too.

Being able to manage your emotions and control your communication is crucial if you want to improve the culture of your team. If you expect your staff and colleagues to behave in a particular way, you must set the standard you want them to uphold. It starts with you.

You must model the behaviour you want others to demonstrate – whether in the professional or personal sphere. You can’t expect others to control their emotions and perform under pressure if you can’t do that yourself.

If you want your staff to be open to feedback, you need to be open to feedback too. If you want your staff to communicate in a more friendly and positive way, you better be friendly and positive too. If you want to improve the behaviour of your team, you need to improve your own behaviour first.

Stop and ask yourself these two questions:

  1. How do I want those around me to communicate?
  2. Am I communicating that way myself?

Take a moment. Really think about it hard and honestly. Reflect on your behaviour. If there is a gap between your truthful answers and your desired answers, you need to work on controlling yourself and your communication first. You have to step up before you ask others to do the same. Make sure your own communication is in check before addressing the communication of others.