Reflecting upon what your employees say / do

Building on the previous behaviors identified by Deci and Ryan and their work on the link between leadership behaviors and employee motivation, this post is on how leaders can create an environment where employees feel valued, experience a sense of community and the ability to make decisions for themselves so they are able to satisfy their own psychological needs for Competence, Connection and Choice - motivating themselves. The leadership behavior we explore today is reflect on what your employees say or do.

Reflection is a powerful leadership tool that is too frequently missed due to time pressures or not realizing its potential.


Leaders can gain so much from carefully deciphering the meaning of what they are seeing and hearing, and being curious about others’ behavior, tone of voice, body language or reactions.


Pausing to ask yourself a few questions about each employee on a regular basis forms the foundation for a measured, individualized approach to development and accelerates performance results through guided self awareness for the employee.


The questions are simple. The trick / hack / skill here is to think deeply about each one as it relates to each employee

  • What did I expect to happen?

  • What actually occurred?

  • What did they do well and why?

  • What could be improved and how?

Keep a note book (I use OneNote - there are many other tools you can use) to capture your answers - it will help you long term to spot trends and patterns and it is super helpful come annual performance review time.

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