How to Build Your Best Team with Behavior Modeling


The sessions for our virtual Zoom event 'How to Build an Environment Where People Can Do Their Best Work', hosted by Brett Ledbetter and Becky Burleigh, were designed to provide an in-depth understanding of how to define, manage, and model the best working environment for your team, based on expert coaching methodologies and team leadership psychology.

This week we’re summarizing the fourth (and final) session focused on effective modeling for sales leaders. To catch up on previous workshops, you can watch all four full recordings here.

Modeling Above-the-Line Behavior

Modeling is often an overlooked part of leadership, but as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Your team learns more from what you do than from what you say. Modeling is what people see. You can be an excellent communicator, but if your actions contradict your words, then you’re sending mixed signals.

An example of a mismatched phrase and action is encouraging others to be on time, only to arrive late to your own meetings. Or saying “it’s about the process”, and then demonstrating biased behavior based on outcomes.

So remember: don’t say what you can’t execute. It creates a credibility lapse, reducing trust due to misalignment between what’s being said and done. Pay close attention to what you’re saying and doing with your team to ensure they’re aligned.

Roadmap for effective modeling

To be an authentic role model, you need to get your words, actions, and thoughts aligned. Brett and Becky shared a roadmap to follow to accomplish this goal.

Align your actions and words

To start aligning what you say with what you do, ask a trusted colleague to observe you and tell you when you’re sending mixed signals. This will help you become more aware of these instances so you can work toward eliminating them.

Then, select five characteristics that should exemplify who you and your team are. These might include some of the following performance or relational skills:

  • Hardworking – paying the price with effort.
  • Resilient – bouncing back from setbacks.
  • Disciplined – self-regulating.
  • Trustworthy – being reliable.
  • Empathetic – sharing the feelings of others.
  • Encouraging – giving confidence and support.

Then start modeling these characteristics by leveraging what Brett calls an ‘Intention Setting tool’:

If I want my team to _____________, then I need to _______________.

Fill in the blank with whichever characteristic you choose to model. This enables you to be intentional in your words and behaviors while building a team identity and modeling the characteristics that you feel are most important.

Develop your game plan

It’s difficult to be an authentic role model without a game plan. Your game plan is essentially a business plan for your life. It involves identifying your mission and prioritizing the roles you play in life. It also describes how to fulfill those roles in a way you would ultimately be proud of. And it identifies your guiding principles.

This mental model takes intentionality to put in place but helps you focus on being your best at whatever role you are fulfilling at any given moment. And it enables you to align your words, actions, and thoughts.

To start preparing your game plan, identify and prioritize your top five roles in life. Describe what it looks like to successfully fulfill each of these roles. Create a mission statement for your life and establish your guiding principles.

NOTE: Brett provides examples along with more details on this process as well as a template for your gameplan in the webinar if you’re keen to learn more about it.

Create an accountability system

Once you’ve identified characteristics to model and created your game plan, it becomes easier to align your words, actions, and thoughts, leading to greater authenticity.

Prevent falling back into old ineffective habits by identifying people you can trust to provide honest, unfiltered feedback, and who will continue to even when you push back against it. This is what Becky Burleigh calls your “truth-tellers”. These “truth-tellers” are essential for your success. Receiving continuous feedback facilitates ongoing improvement in your ability to model effectively.


Looking for additional ways to infuse continuous learning and sales skills growth in your sales reps? Book a demo with a member of our team to see how Jiminny can help you consistently improve your team’s skills and performance.