4 types of behavior

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We can break down behaviors, actions, into two categories – those we can see, and those we can hear. We can further break down how we experience each of these categories as follows:

Visual Behaviors

1. Physical Actions - What I Do

I see you are talking with someone

2. Non-Verbal Actions-How I Do It

Your body position is leaning forward, facing the person sitting across from you

Auditory Behaviors

3. Language - What I Say

I hear you say, ‘I’ll definitely call you tomorrow”‍

4. Vocal Delivery - How I Say It

I hear you emphasize the word ‘definitely’

Looking at behavior with this perspective allows us to move from thinking about ‘performance’, which is large and ambiguous, to instead thinking about a collection of very specific and tangible behaviors – which drastically simplifies our understanding of what to observe in evaluation of that performance. This in turn equips you to have specific coaching conversations around effective behaviors to repeat, and less effective behaviors to change.


To evaluate a manager’s performance leading a team meeting, I would attend & observe:

  • Non-verbal elements like body position, facial expression and hand-gestures – all of which supports his verbal message and adds additional clarification or emotion.
  • Language choices to consider successful transference of the message he meant to convey.
  • Vocal delivery like volume and annunciation which helps convey confidence and enthusiasm.

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