Have you noticed that despite its powerful effect on culture the news media is not always the best source of information.  In fact, the same news program can demonstrate the definition of contradiction, sometimes even in the same breath.

Recently, I saw a promo clip from one of my local television news stations about a segment they were doing at 11pm on the dangers of internet-based slot machines.  Apparently, instead of putting coins in the slots, there are computer terminals that have credit card readers attached, along with the pull-down lever on the side to simulate the feeling of the real thing.

Well, the promo segment was a few minutes in length, discussing the dangers of gambling and the nature of addiction.  Then, in the same breath, the news anchor literally said, “…and after that, stay tuned for tonight’s powerball numbers!”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the contradicting elements presented in just a few short minutes.  While this may verify the suspicion that news professionals just read the teleprompter without thinking, I think it also reflects the importance of thinking about the perception of one’s actions by employees.

While you can’t always think about what your employees will think when making decisions, it is important to remember that they are watching you and taking cues from you about acceptable behavior.

If you want them to come in early, stay late, or work on weekends, it can help if you do the same.  While it may not be practical to demonstrate every desired behavior, when an employee knows that you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, that goes a long way in building trust and it makes it easier for them to act this way themselves.

John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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