To help illustrate the power of actions over words, I was trying to find a great reference to help illustrate the disconnect between what someone says and what they do.I was hoping to find a clever idea from a book about psychology, or a brilliant line from a behavioural economics podcast. I didn’t find either.
What I found instead was Love Island. Georgia Steel was a contestant on the show who took offence at being called “unloyal”. She claimed her loyalty repeatedly; 11 times in a single episode. Unfortunately nobody believed her. Not her fellow contestants or the viewers at home (Twitter was having a field day).
Why? Because they had all seen her having a cheeky snog with a someone she wasn’t supposed to. So no matter how many times she claimed to be a loyal person, nobody believed her. Her actions were at odds with her words.
This seems simple and obvious. But it’s amazing how many organisations say one thing and act differently. So it’s worth remembering that if a company says it’s “focused on its customers” but management tries to rip those customers off at every opportunity in order to make a quick buck, the staff won’t believe in it.
Or if the mantra is “flexibility and innovation” but only tried and tested ideas make it through the bureaucratic practices, the staff won’t believe in it.And if they don’t believe in it, then they won’t follow through on it. To get them to believe, the words need to have action.