Behavior can be a complicated concept because every person is different and can interpret behaviors differently. In a team, there is a wide range of behaviors occurring which can seem overwhelming at times. By gaining some insight on the behavior of your team and yourself, you will be able to build a better team.
The Role of Perception in Controlling Behavior
Even though our perception is mostly drawn from our experiences, and we can be biased when it comes to our thoughts, it is an important tool in controlling behavior. Perception helps us determine how we appear to others and how the behavior of others can influence us. It is also important to keep in mind that your belief in yourself can affect your perception and can in turn affect your behavior.
Your team members will not always say out loud how they perceive you. At times, you will have to make your conclusions based on your perception of their behavior:
- Do they come close when they speak to you or try to move away?
- Do they smile and interact with you or seem withdrawn?
- Do you use these thoughts when you perceive people and their behaviors?
The Difference between Facts and Emotions
Facts are based on definite results while emotions are often involuntary and one-sided. Both emotions and facts can affect our behavior toward others. Emotions are involved in everything we do; they can affect the impact of our behavior and the information that we are conveying. Facts connect people on a logical level and drive the conversation.
Social situations are more likely to be driven by emotions, causing facts to become irrelevant. As team leader, you should recognize when emotions may be driving a situation. Reflect back on the situation and rediscover the facts and figures of the information. Remind the team to focus on the facts and save the emotions for later.
Online communication includes emails, instant chats, video calls and text messages. It is a quick and easy way of communication, but it can cause misconceptions. The use of words is important when you communicate online because feeling, emotions and tone is difficult to communicate online. Online communication can also often seem impersonal, so it is important to speak face to face or by phone whenever possible.
Listen and Watch More Than You Participate
Monitor your behavior and the behavior of your team members by listening and watching more than you participate. Focus on the words your team members are using when they are talking and not necessarily on the person saying them. Focus on the topic on hand and don’t get caught up in one or two things they say. Continue to listen until the end and avoid making your own assumptions. Turn the focus away from yourself and focus on the team members. Developing better listening skills will help you pick up more information than if you tried to assume it all yourself.
Tips for better listening:
- Listen for verbal cues
- Watch for nonverbal cues
- Focus on what is being said, not the person
- Be aware of your own behaviors and reactions
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