Listen To Their Actions

You know the old saying, “actions speak louder than words?” Well, they do… but only if you choose to listen to their actions rather than watching what they say.

Have you ever been in a relationship, be it with a partner, a coworker, friend or acquaintance, which might have driven you a little crazy? And the crazy-making came mostly from not ever knowing what they were going to do next mostly because there was not any congruency between their words and actions? They might say on thing, but then continually do the opposite or something else entirely… Hearing the words and actually believing them, but then watching the opposite take place… so confusing.

I’ve been there… I was in that situation once and it was utterly bewildering but after I figured it out (don’t ask me how I did) I was able to understand what was happening and “get the message.” “The message” by the way was never in the words spoken… it was always in the actions taken. I stopped listening with my ears, and let my eyes do the listening for me by watching instead.

For example, your boss is always commending you, and telling you that you are doing a great job. He always has a good thing to say to you and says it often. But then when it comes to special assignments, or promotions, bonuses, etc… you are left out in the cold without any explanation. This would be a good time to watch the actions of your manger rather than listen to his words to get to the truth about how much he really values you and your work. Was his message in his words or was it in his actions?

It comes down to just one word and that is integrity. I believe that integrity is the highest quality that a person can have and to me it simply means, honestly saying what you are going to do and then following through on that. It means that your actions and your words have consistent meaning.

Are you consistent with your words and actions? Are you even aware there might be a slight or maybe even a huge disconnect at times between what you say and what you do? Perhaps you yourself are someone who sends mixed signals confusing and confounding all off those around you?

As humans we are mostly conditioned to listen to what someone says, and more often than not believe them and then to expect what we are lead to believe in to happen. If you find yourself bewildered between the two, watch what a person does to see if that is the truth rather than what they are saying.

And don’t forget to check your words against your actions as well. Always strive to have integrity between the two in all of your interactions. Doing that will build your credibility and generally make your life easier as well as those around you. Do what you say and say what you do and stop your own crazy-making if needed.

Have you ever been in a confusing situation where someone’s words and actions did not match up? How did you handle it?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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