Where Antelope Roam

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
January 10, 2016, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: , , ,

So, this was another saying I learned from my mother.   Though as with the last one it was pretty standard fare for kids growing up in my generation.   This was usually brought out when we tried to hoodwink our parents into believing something that was not true.

This morning,hubby and  I worked in the nursery at church…. man, I LOVE working in the nursery.   Kids are so honest.   I worked during the morning service but because I also play the organ I didn’t get there before all the kids did.

As I came in the door, there were several kids there.   One little girl’s face lit up as she saw me and ran toward me.   Aww man, talk about squeezin the heart strings!     One little girl was new and rather pensive when she saw me.   She didn’t know who I was or whether I could really be trusted…. so she just stood there and watched me for a while.

When I work in the nursery, I like to get down on the kids’ level which usually means sitting on the floor.   So, as is my custom, I got down on the floor and started pulling toys out of the toy box.   The little girl who’d run toward me started playing with the toys I’d pull out and we carried on quite an animated conversation while the other little girl just continued to watch and listen to us.   Every once in a while I’d catch her eye and throw her a question.   After a while, she decided I could indeed be trusted so she started playing with the toys and interacting with me.

Recently a post came across my Facebook feed that cited a study on why good employees leave any position.   The gist of it was that when there is a large turnover in employees, it can usually be traced back to the manager/supervisor/owner.  It made a lot of sense to me.

Perhaps you’re wondering what that has to do with my working in the church nursery…

I’m so glad you asked.    Just like the two little girls in the nursery, we all need to know that we’re valued by other people for who we are not just for what we do…. particularly with those we have close interaction – be they family, friends, co-workers or management.

Most of us as working adults spend 90% of our day in the work place outside of our home.  We want to know what we’re doing makes a difference and that it’s worth our effort to come to work.  Not only do we want to know that what we do makes a difference but that we have value to someone else. My late father-in-law put it this way.   We all need to be needed.

Though many of us must work to supply the basic material needs of life, we want to know what we do is important to those with whom we work, particularly management.  If a manager never or rarely interacts with the people he calls his team on a personal, face to face basis, the “team” is doomed to fail in it’s asserted mission.

Intracompany communications such as emails (which are really impersonal) have their place but can leave “team members” feeling disenfranchised and valueless if used too often and/or in place of face to face communication.   Managers who manage primarily by impersonal communications do not realize the message they are sending to their team.   This is a case where actions DO speak louder than words.

A manager who refuses to interact and get to know his team personally is telling them they are not important to the outcome of the mission much less to him.   If an employee feels this way, they will NOT stick around for very long unless forced to by extenuating circumstances.  Then the manager may get adequate results but not the excellent results they might have gotten had they expended some effort.

All of us are like the two little girls in the nursery.    We either feel connected and ready to interact on the “team” or we feel pensive and uncertain about our relationship and /or where we might fit in.

If you’re a manager/supervisor or in any leadership capacity at all anywhere YOUR  success depends upon how well you communicate value to your people.   Think about it.

Until next time, love God, love others and remember Actions Speak Volumes!



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