Nothing I like better than to spend a Sunday evening watching my beloved Minnesota Vikings kick butt! But this week, something other than just football caught my attention.
One of Teddy Bridgewater’s teammates was talking about what it’s like to play with him as the quarterback. The line that caught me was when he explained that playing with Teddy made you want to be a better person. He said that Teddy is always calm under pressure, and that watching the way he handles himself makes others want to do the same.
This made me think of a conversation I had with a leader who was sharing the frustration they have been experiencing with managing their staff. He told me that he was seriously considering “giving people a taste of their own medicine” by treating them with the same lack of respect that they were showing to others.
What do you think the chances are that this strategy will cause his staff to wake up and realize the error of their ways? I think it’s vastly more likely that disrespect will breed further disrespect.
I’ve heard the same theory applied to children’s behaviour, too. It’s easy to slip into thinking that we can teach by causing someone else to feel as badly as they’ve made us feel.
The problem is that behaviour is driven by the pictures in our head. If people don’t have a picture in their heads of how to be a positive force, they cannot achieve it. In every interaction we have with others throughout our day, we have a choice to make. Are we going to react to the situations around us, and justify our actions because of the challenge of a situation and the fact that “everyone else is doing it”? Or will we choose to be like Teddy, and be a role model for others of how to handle yourself with grace and strength in spite of the stress of the situation?