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What you allow you teach

Over the past few weeks, how many times have you witnessed someone’s poor behavior but let it slip by while knowing you should have addressed it at the time or soon after. At first these behaviors may seem trivial, but if allowed to repeat and fester, they change the tone and expectations of your organization. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Late on deadlines.

  • Poor compliance on expenses and CRM.

  • Gossip and office politics.

  • Lack of urgency in customer response or needs.

So, why didn’t you say something? Was it lack of courage, time, or confidence that kept you from saying ‘this is not OK!’.  This is exactly what I mean by ‘what you allow you teach’. Who is at ‘fault’ - the Doer or the Allower? As a leader, YOU are the ‘Allower’, and hold the responsibility to set an expectation of respectful and appropriate behavior in the workplace. 

An ‘Allower’ who does not call out behaviors that are not aligned to your corporate or cultural values, or are below expectations, you are setting a tone and environment of inequalities and unfairness. I am not saying that every minor deviation is a reason to correct someone, but it is a perfect situation to craft a teaching opportunity to reiterate expectations and provide guidance (or consequences) for those struggling to achieve the basics.  


If you are not willing to have ‘real conversations', then do you have the leadership courage and confidence to set business expectations that foster appropriate and respectful behaviors for individuals/teams that work for you. Ask yourself these 4 questions:

  • What are the possible implications if I do NOT say or do anything? 

  • What I allow for this one person or example, may become ’the norm’ for everyone, and is that ok?

  • What is the perception or ‘tone from the top’ I am leaving with people impacted by these behaviors?

  • How can I use this situation to reiterate my expectations and reeducate on why the behavior is not acceptable?

Take time today to think about some behaviors that you have let slip by recently and apply the mantra ‘what you allow you teach'. Explore how the outcome might have changed and you might have saved time and angst if you had just nipped it in the bud the first time. 


Leadership coaching with IDME Consulting can provide you the confidence and courage to have ‘real conversations’ that foster a culture of candor and transparency to deliver high performance and success in your professional and personal life.



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