As a father, I constantly have to remind myself that how I act influences my children more than how I tell them to act. It is always a hard thing to watch one of my children throw up their hands and stomp off just like I do when I am angry. That is not what I want them to do.
It is harder at work to notice when you have set a bad example because you don’t share genes with the people at work. Their duplication of your bad habits will be more subtle, but it can happen. If your staff is not open enough, you should ask yourself what you present. Is teamwork a problem? What do you model with your peers?
It is not panacea of course. You might be showing them a near perfect example, and they are not getting it. I am not confident enough that I have it all figured out though. I sure don’t at home with the kids; so I cannot always act the right way at work. What I have to do is watch what I model.
With clients, we are on stage the whole time, from the moment they say hello, to when they say good bye. In fact, how we act outside of therapy can affect the client too if they see it. How we treat the client in therapy is a model to that client that may be the only healthy relationship they have when they start.
Try to look at yourself through others eyes, and see you as they see you. I had a conversation with someone at work the other day, and it dawned on me that I do not show enough humility at work. I don’t set out to be arrogant. I need to work on being humble. That is not my nature, but I need to work on it.
Is there something you are showing to others that you don’t like? Try to find out if there is and then work on ways to change it. Get feedback. The best thing you can model is personal growth. And the only way to bring our best is to keep growing.