Be a role model, a bold statement!

I started off writing a blog about meetings and meeting etiquette. The background to that being that I was invited to a meeting last week where I had to make a special effort to get there, only to find that the meeting chair then totally disrespected the efforts the other attendees and I had made to attend and our collective time, by taking a stream of phone calls. It was only a 30 minute meeting, I wouldn’t have minded if any of the calls were emergencies that can be forgiven; but they were not, so surely the items discussed could have waited 15 – 20 minutes. What is it about phones ringing that makes them so urgent to answer? Urgency addiction? I am sure the person involved would find it extremely rude if I had kept taking calls during ‘their’ meeting.

I make a point of when I am talking to someone in person, unless it is an EMERGENCY, not to answer my phone immediatley; I find it impolite or even rude when it is done to me. If it is an important call, I can then make my apologies to the person I am talking to and return the call. I always ring the person back who has called as soon as I can; With voicemail, missed call lists etc, it is easy to get back to people quickly isn’t it.

Anyway, it was as I started to thumb through some books on meeting etiquette and running effective meetings, I came across a paragraph in “How to Save Time and Money by Managing Meetings Effectively” paragraph 44, by Andy Gilbert and Rob Smith at GoMAD Thinking

Ensure that you have an appropriate role model… someone who displays the qualities that are necessary..

This led me to think a little more broadly. How often do we role model the behaviours we want to see?Or is it easier to fall into the “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” trap? Something to think about? Some seem to have behaviours that are so ‘hardwired’ that they seem to be oblivious to the impact that their behaviours have on others around them; as would seem to be the case with the incident that caused me to write this post.

I like to think that I demonstrate the behaviours that I value, that I role model them. However, I cannot be the judge of whether that is what other people see in me or perceive. Only those people that know me or who interact with me can judge that. But as Ghandi put it

Be the change that you want to see in the world

Ghandi cor 02
Creative Commons License photo credit: Luiz Fernando / Sonia Maria