November 12, 2020

Don’t Disconnect: Do Your Actions Back Up Your Words?

Some of you may remember my post from a few weeks ago talking about a client who was anxious to prove to his higher-ups that he was ripe for promotion.

This past week his boss checked in with me about how our work together was going.

“Well,” I said, “there seems to be a disconnect. He stated that improving his competence and getting promoted was his top priority but I have not heard from him since.”

Now we all know life happens (It’s certainly been happening around here…) yet I find these kinds of disconnects occur fairly frequently.

How so?

Well, take the want-to-be employee who claims in their cover letter that they are “a real go-getter,” and yet—having sent in their resume—never contacts you again.

Or the colleague whose favorite saying is, “The devil is in the details,” but is incapable of writing an email without at least two typos.

Not to mention industry colleagues who claim they can’t wait to catch up with you but who—after hearing all the days and times you are free—say something along the lines of, “Well, it doesn’t need to be anytime soon.”

 Now, as mentioned, things happen and we’ve all had moments (or at least I hope we have…) when we’ve answered someone’s text or email in our head, but neglected to actually follow through.

That is not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is a pattern of behavior—one where you find yourself consistently scratching your head.

What to do? Well, my plan for my client is to approach the situation factually.

What will this sound like?

“You mentioned being promoted was a top priority and your company arranged for our work together in order to support that goal, yet I have not heard from you. Can you tell me a bit about what’s been going on?”

After that, I will listen, listen, listen… because sometimes it is the situation and sometimes it is their character.

What should you do?

Well, if it’s due to life circumstances, by all means hold the line.

If it appears to be their character?

Disconnect.

 

Another place it’s important to look for a connection between words, tone, and actions is when others apologize. For more on this, take a look at, “Wow, What a Week of Apologies! Let’s Take a Look at What Worked—and What Didn’t”

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