Do they find you predictable? Even more so, I hope so.
Being both intriguing and predictable seems like a conundrum—an enigma—like you couldn’t be both. You can. But of the two qualities, if you could pick only one, I say, go with predictable.
Why? Because one of the most destructive management styles in the workplace is someone who’s consistently unpredictable. You’ve probably experienced that kind of manager yourself, or know someone who has. They’re moody. You feel like you have to “walk on egg shells” around them, because you never know how they might react. Everyone waits to see each morning what type of day it’s going to be around the office because of how this manager shows up—in a positive mood or a foul one. That’s a terrible environment in which to work.
From the time we’re little kids, we crave structure, routine, predictability. We never outgrow that need for some sense of consistency in our lives. Consistently unpredictable behaviors on the part of a manager leaves employees feeling like they have little control over their environment. That’s not good.
- Can people count on you to do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it? I hope so. That’s being predictable. As John Langhorne says in the March 15, 2010 issue of the Corridor Business Journal, if your say/do ratio is low, people lose trust and respect in you pretty quickly.
Do you over promise and under deliver? That’s a predictability gap. That’s not good. Pretty soon, people start taking what you say with a grain of salt.
As a manager, how you show up every day at work has the greatest impact on your employees’ overall attitudes, satisfaction levels, and performance. Provide the predictability they crave, and captivate them with your ideas.