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Submitted by contemplation101 on


 I remember discussing the difference between behaviors and the intentions of a direct report in one of Dani's conferences. I believe she showed us a list of what falls into a behavior versus what is a motive or intention. For example "Susan is mean" versus "Susan, when you squint your eyebrows and give a one word reply to someone...."

Do you have a good list of observable behaviors to look for? I'm looking for this as a way to coach our supervisors.

mattpalmer's picture

The sheets that we used in the ECC to help count behaviours is a good starting point if you want to provide examples.  The important thing isn't to memorise a big list of all possible behaviours.  You just need to remember the categories of behaviour:

  • The words you say / write
  • The way you say them
  • Gestures
  • Facial expressions

Personally, I like to use the following filter to decide if something is a behaviour or not: if I asked someone I met on the street to act in the way I'm thinking of, would what that person did look recognisably similar to what I observed?  If yes, then I'm describing a behaviour.  If not, then I'm almost certainly describing a characterisation.

For example, if I ask someone to "act mean", they're just as likely to tell me I'm ugly as they are to squint their eyebrows and give me a one word reply.  On the other hand, if I ask them to squint their eyebrows and give me a one word reply, well...

jrosenau's picture