Admit it. Are you all talk?

Yes, I’ll grant you that some people are more achievement oriented than others, but we all have some capacity to start and complete things. Perhaps at different levels of attainment, but we either push ourselves to obtain amazing outcomes, or put in a minimal effort into doing so with lack luster results.  

Some people are of the opinion that why bother doing something if you are not going to do it exceptionally well? Does this mean they have the capacity to complete and achieve more than others? Not necessarily, but it could be one of the driving forces which allows them to put their words into action which result in a tangible and positive outcome. There are also people who are driven to accomplish something to prove they can do so to others, and some who are purely self-motivated. Although when you think about what the difference between these approaches is, this is where it can get interesting.

If you are a leader or sports coach, appreciating and understanding how to motivate another person or a team can be one of the most challenging experiences you will encounter. Not only because we understand that everyone is motivated differently, but also motivated at various levels, and they are not always in synch when you need them to be. What can be frustrating about this is when people tell you they are going to do and accomplish something that you agreed upon, and they do not hold up their end of the agreement. Yes, this is disappointing, and it impacts both parties. Perhaps an entire team.

Is it easy to determine who is “all talk, no action”? It can be, but some people are so convincing you want to give them multiple opportunities to prove it. I guarantee you know someone like this, or perhaps I might be describing you? If I am describing you, have you considered why you fall into this classification? Does it matter to you that you routinely tell others you are going to do something and prove otherwise? Do you tell others you are going to do something because it is easier than being honest with them? Or perhaps telling them you either can’t, won’t or do not want to do what you committed to doing? Maybe you have good intentions, but time passes, and you think this gives you a pass not to follow through? Possibly some other version of this type of thinking?

My question to people who are “all talk” is does it matter to you that you are letting others down with your pseudo promises? Or are you simply able to dismiss any emotions associated with disappointing others and not give it a second thought? If this is the case, then I should have more concern for your thinking. Why? Because you are capable of so accomplishing so much more than how you are acting but have chosen not to live up to your potential. A word that some leaders and sports coaches cringe when hearing or thinking about, as they have seen many people who “have or had potential” but choose not to exercise it.

Seeing someone who doesn’t take advantage of their potential from a leadership perspective is very difficult to watch, and most leaders will grant someone in this situation a few opportunities to reach their potential. Or they won’t, and the person gets bypassed and will remain the same in terms of their growth and attainment potential. From my perspective this is sad, but also a reality due to the hyper competitive world we live in. Although some people might not look at it this way, and are happy with being average and not reaching their full potential.

This morning I received a text from a person who I knew had potential, but they had been struggling for several years to do something with it. Part of the reason had to do with their lack of confidence, so they talked a good game to convince you initially they were going to follow through on what they were going to do. After hearing this a few times with no change, it was obvious they were “all talk, and no action”. However, today the text I received from this person proved they were going to act, and they outlined how this action had been planned, and shared with me the actions they had taken.

Yes, I was both surprised and happy to receive this text, as I wasn’t sure when I would. I knew I would, but the person had to believe in themselves, find their confidence to proceed, and then take the step which can be the most difficult. The first step forward. They have done this, and I have a giant and very proud smile on my face thinking about this accomplishment.

If you have good intentions and don’t want to be classified as someone who is “all talk and no action”, or who has someone you lead who is this way, below are some suggestions to help alter this scenario.

  • Have you sat down and told this person that you have noticed a pattern with their behavior? Sometimes this conversation hasn’t taken place, although you might have presumed it has. You might be the first one to call them out on their behavior.
  • Ask the person what their reasons are for continuously being “all talk, and no action”? You may or may not be surprised by what they tell you.
  • After you have asked the question above, continue to ask enough questions to get to the root of the actual “why” they don’t follow through.
  • Determine if the person wants to change? They might be stuck and need support to do so, yet they don’t know who to turn to for support, or how to ask for help.
  • Consider helping the person put together a plan of a few things they can accomplish to prove to them they can follow through.
  • Bad habits or actions can be hard to break, so it is going to take both discipline and having potentially someone who can help to keep the person on track and fully accountable for what they say they are going to do.
  • Having a clear understanding of the repercussions of not keeping your word or not following through on something needs to be agreed upon by both parties. If possible, put your agreement in the written format, and have both parties sign that they agree with the outcome. Yes, this is more formal, and it does work, and it provides the tangibility that a verbal agreement can lack.

Imagine if there were fewer “all talk, no action” people in our lives? I think about this possibility every day, and if this article helps one person to change their behavior, then I will be grateful for this.

TAGS: #Leadership #Motivation #Positivity #Business #Teams #Leader #Sports #Sportscoach #Management #Communication #Productivitytips #Awareness #Purpose #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment

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