Watch out. Being a role model happens when you expect it the least

Let’s say you want to make a change in your community, your company, your department, or your family.

You want to be a model for your children, your employees, colleagues or friends.

So you advocate some values : safety is important, it’s important to listen attentively and actively in a conversation, or not to use the phone during meetings…

People will listen to you, but they won’t be inspired to change.

Words are only words until they take shape in real life. Until your friend sees you embodying that value.

The trick is that people will judge you when you expect it the least. When you are not paying attention to it : between the meeting room and your desk, not during the meeting ; or during that company party.

You said safety is important, but how do you drive with your employees? Do you comply with the speed limits? Do you use your phone while driving? Do you drink the legal amount of alcohol at the Christmas dinner before taking the car?

We are inspired to change our practice when we see something right, refreshingly well done.

And even if we like the change someone tries to make happen, and decide to apply it to ourselves, it will take effort. It will take time. Time and courage to change our habits and routines. And we will fail. Repeatedly.

Therefore, when we seek to carry out change in the community, we need to be consistent with ourselves. It will take time, and we won’t get immediate result.

In addition, if our words are inconsistent with our actions, that’s the whole effort that is collapsing. Trust will be gone. And it only requires one chance to demonstrate that you’re not applying your own advice.

But bit by bit, with care, generosity and patience, we might make the change happen.

Do you happen to be inconsistent with the values that you are advocating? Have ever encountered that inconsistency? Do you remember a time whereby you managed to make change happen for good?

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