What do your employees say when you leave the room?

What do your employees say when you leave the room?

  • That you’ve got their back – strive to help them succeed or do they perceive that you’re only out for your own career advancement?
  • When you’re not around, do employees complain about your emotional outbursts and never know when they’re going to be yelled at?
  • Do your employees view you as lacking a backbone because you avoid conflict and seem to tolerate underperformers and bad behavior?

We all have blind spots in how we come across to others.

The most courageous and self-aware leaders are willing to ask how they are perceived by others and then make adjustments to improve their leadership effectiveness.

Last week’s blog addressed the importance of self-awareness based on the research of organizational psychologist, Tasha Eurich.

From her best-selling book Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think, three questions were given to ask yourself at the end of each day to boost your internal self-awareness.

In case you missed it, here’s the link.

Today’s blog is a follow-up from last week with another exercise Tasha suggests to gain self-awareness of how others perceive you or your external self-awareness.

Caution: This exercise isn’t for the faint of heart. Rather it’s for those who are ready to make the choice to be courageous enough to hear what’s hard to hear.

Participating in this exercise will give you an invaluable insight into how you come across to others so you know what improvements to make in your leadership and/or in the relationships you want to improve.

Are you in?

Hoping you say yes, here is the exercise is called the dinner or lunch of truth.


The Dinner or Lunch of Truth

Invite someone important to you and who you trust implicitly to dinner or lunch.

Ask this question “What do I do that’s most annoying to you?”.

Then listen. No defending, no excuse-making.

While this exercise is uncomfortable, remember the people that you choose are those who you trust have your back, and who want you to succeed. Give them permission to share the truth about the perceptions people have. Assure them you want to know so you can do something about negative perceptions.

When I work with teams, I use a variation of this exercise that I’ll share with you next week.

When you start to understand how others perceive you,
you’ll have the invaluable insight into what behaviors to transform that undermine your leadership effectiveness.

About the author

Bonnie Artman Fox has a background as Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Psychiatric Registered Nurse. Today her primary role is working with leaders as an organizational health consultant to create work cultures employees never want to leave. Bonnie is the author of the best-selling book How Did My Family Get In My Office?!

Leave a Comment