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When a BAD Culture Match is a Good Thing

Unique-peopleHave you heard (or repeated … or believed) any of these current-day business clichés?

  • Match job candidates to your company’s culture.
  • Hire only those applicants that align with your company’s goals.
  • Don’t hire people who could disrupt your teams.

In most cases, this is great advice. In most cases.

But in most cases, organizations that place high importance on culture haven’t even bothered to measure it. If culture is constantly emphasized yet no one in your organization can accurately define it, much less measure it, how do know you have a good match or a bad match? A gut feeling? A 30 minute interview? An opinion from a former co-worker or boss? A candidate who smiles a lot, seems nice, and has a great resume? . . . seriously?

Hiring reality is that there are no easy rules to follow and clichés can lead you down the wrong path if they’re followed blindly. Business, like humans, is complex, with too many variables and pesky targets that keep moving just when you’re hoping they will be still for a few moments.

If hiring could really be condensed into a few simple “rules” then most companies would succeed wildly.

It would just be a simple matter of following the steps ~ like playing a children’s game or assembling a garage door opener. But precisely because life and business ARE complex, HR managers, recruiters, and hiring managers continue to be duped into believing any idea or cliché that promises to reduce that complexity into a simple code-phrase or mantra or set of steps.

All too often, HR managers and recruiters actually become an impediment to hiring top talent. Why? Because HR people and recruiters tend to know very little about the positions they are “helping” to fill … they know a great deal about HR, FMLA, discrimination, ATS, harassment seminars, and HRIS … but the actual position? They try to understand it by having a 10 minute chat with the hiring manager or by reading a decades old job description, or attempt to condense a position that requires 50+ hours/week to a few snippets of information, or worse, just assume they’re up to speed because they’ve hired other people in similar positions at some point in the past.

wanted-senior-cliche-writer

Overused business expressions get organizations into trouble because those with limited intellect and/or modest experience can be led to believe that they will actually end up hiring “A” players and improving their organization’s performance by simply following those step-by-step hiring or interviewing instructions to match each candidate to the current company cultural norm.

Sometimes they do hire the best, most times they don’t … yet the “rules” live on forever. Check your own employee turnover rate, your revenue, your profit, your customer retention rate, or any one of dozens of metrics. People produce those metrics ~ the people your company hired.

So, in an attempt to cover their bases, they create check-lists of key words (e.g. Excel, Strategy, Java, SQL-Certified, PowerPoint, multi-unit, etc.) and then screen resumes or job applications robotically against these check-lists.

Recruiting-Filter

The results are entirely predictable: they regularly miss highly qualified people who could add substantial value to the organization in favor of hiring people who have the right word-match for the HR search filter but who may be completely incapable of dealing with the business issues at hand. Yet many of the real issues of today’s hiring chaos and organizational dysfunction remain totally unexplored.

One of those issues could be Company Culture … a culture that needs to change.

When a BAD Match is Preferable

1. You need a turnaround

Is your organization looking to hire a turnaround CEO? With the current failure rate of new CEO’s hovering around 50% in the first 18 months, that CEO (or department manager or Executive VP) may need to be a “poor fit” with the prevailing corporate culture if that culture is stagnant or the company is slowly dying because of it.

If your company or department culture is actually detrimental to the organization yet everyone you’ve hired for the past 10 years matches it, where do you think your company is headed?

Kodak went out of business, in part, because it held tightly to a culture where status quo was preferred over disruption. General Motors had to be bailed out by taxpayer money for precisely the same reason. Any company could go out of business in the next few years if its corporate culture is “avoid rocking the boat at any cost.”

Ensuring “a good fit” between the current corporate culture and the new hire could be devastating to a struggling organization under such conditions. Yet these kinds of issues are wholly absent from today’s “MUST MATCH CULTURE” type of thinking.

2. You need to move into a different market or change course

Several years ago a colleague was approached by a very large bank to assist them in developing their current talent to move into a different market segment, one the company hadn’t attempted previously even though their competitors were having success doing just that. He assessed their current culture and each person in the department tasked to make that move.

His response to the executive team? I can’t help you.

They were quite flabbergasted. “We’re paying you how much?”

The issue was the culture of the department in question was one of support, low risk, gathering data, solving problems, and reflection before taking any action. People got along really, really well and enjoyed each other’s company. There was little, if any, challenges to the way another person thought or the actions selected by their committees. But to succeed in this new environment, the company needed drivers, people who were competitive, calculating risk-takers, who didn’t get bogged down with rejection because their ego strength was too high. They needed people who were the opposite of the current group.

applicants

After plotting the company’s culture on a chart, the executive team understood what they needed to do: Hire people who didn’t match the culture.

The executive team “GOT IT” and made the needed changes to their hiring practices, allowing current employees to transition to other departments where they fit that culture. Oh, and the company not only moved into that new market with a new set of product offerings, they dominated it.

Most organizations want to find job candidates with an excellent a cultural fit and in the vast majority of cases, it’s exactly what the organization needs. But when leadership fails to measure their culture and communicate it to the recruiting and hiring team, is it any wonder “cultural fit” is one of those hazy, ephemeral, concepts rather than a concrete, clearly understood reality?

When leadership fails to recognize the importance of cultural TALENT diversity within their organization, it can lead to stagnation and in some cases, the death or buyout of a weakened company.

Company culture isn’t a ping-pong table in the break room or unlimited vacation or “open office” concepts. It isn’t free food, an open door policy, or the ability to telecommute. Those are symptoms of the company’s culture. Evidence.

To truly understand your company (or department or division or office) culture, you’ll have to accurately measure it first.
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If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles.

CorterColorLogoWant to learn more? First check out our website and then contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top management talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact Ron Haynes at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

Did You Promote The Wrong Person?

A recent Gallup survey examining 27 million employees led by 2.5 million managers spread out in 197 countries has found that only one person in ten can cut it in management. Genuine management talent is rare.

The entire report is a damning indictment of several aspects of executive management, the most primary of which is the complete lack of ability of decision makers within organizations and their Human Resources departments to select the right people with the right natural talents to perform well in a managerial role.

Most CEOs I know honestly don’t care about employees or take an interest in human resources. Sure, they know who their stars are and love them — but it ends there. Since CEOs don’t care, they put little to no pressure on their HR departments to get their cultures right, which allows HR to unwittingly implement all kinds of development and succession strategies that don’t work. ~ Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO, Gallup 

Gallup says that companies put the wrong people into management positions a whopping 82% of the time.  

— WHY? — 

  • Companies (read: executives) hire people just like themselves, potentially perpetuating the problem
  • Companies assume successes will continue if the candidate was successful in a lesser role
  • Companies tend to pick the “safe” choice politically (more than once I’ve heard “that isn’t a hill I want to die on”)
  • Companies promote people into management positions because “it was their turn”
  • Companies reward loyalty and/or tenure with promotions into management
  • Companies hire or promote people into management positions based on their connections

Is it any wonder why organizations promote the wrong people 82% of the time? Right now, you’re probably thinking of a few people who were promoted based on the above criteria … and four out of five times it didn’t turn out well.

The Implications of a Wrong Management Hire

Gallup estimated the costs to the US economy alone at over $300 billion and some estimates go as high as $500 billion.

Great, top performing managers constantly engage their teams, taking the organization’s goals and directives to make them actionable at a local level. Great managers inspire superior performance while mediocre managers cost companies time, money, customers, market share, innovation, ideas, and opportunities.

So what DOES make a top performing manager? 

There is a unique combination of five NATURAL qualities that makes a great manager:

  1. They have a unique ability to motivate employees
  2. They overcome obstacles by being assertive
  3. They cultivate an accountability culture
  4. They build relationships built on trust
  5. They make educated and unbiased decisions based on the company’s best interest … regardless of the political implications.

True ‘talent’ is innate. It’s a natural capacity to perform at a level higher than others, seeing beyond the horizon, and understanding the what-why-how things work. People CAN become competent in certain skills and acquire the knowledge necessary to perform. They can gain years and years of experiences in a certain area … but they cannot acquire innate, intrinsic talent.

Those managers with the natural talents to be top performers think differently than their peers. They act differently, make better, more nuanced decisions, and are energized by their work. Monday, in many cases, is their favorite day of the week.

For those who don’t have the talent and more specifically, for those who have not been properly matched to their position using TTI’s validated Job Benchmarking and Matching System tend to find work draining rather than energizing. They can’t wait for 5:00pm.

The companies and organizations that fail to identify talent usually find themselves significantly underperforming in their industry and it’s because their managers and other employees have not been properly matched to their positions.

All Things Being Equal

An organization can communicate expectations to managers as clearly as possible, provide the exact same information, tools, and resources, teach them all the same skills, provide the same knowledge, and even put them in the same work environments, but without properly and skillfully identifying talent, the organization will find a few high performers, a large middle-of-the-pack group of performers, and some dismally low group of performers.

Why? Some have the natural talent to be a top performing manager … and some do not.

Those that do not aren’t “bad” people, they’ve just been miscast in their role.

 

How many in your company have a management title?

Research by the Gallup organization further found that in addition to the one in 10 people with natural management talent, another two in 10 have some characteristics of functional managerial talent. With that talent and skills, these 20% can perform at a high level *IF* their company provides the proper support through coaching and mentoring. Authentic management talent probably is working at your company today but it hasn’t been properly developed.

What steps are you taking to identify that talent and separate it from the remaining 70% that are just dialing it in?

Companies that use predictive analytics and intense development techniques will have a profound advantage over those who rely on “trusting their gut” or on a management candidate’s previous accomplishments and experience.

The Next Step

This is a call to action. What you do after reading an article like this says a lot about your personal initiative and drive to make a difference.

The right process of manager identification makes a massive difference in the companies we’ve worked with. Can we make that same difference in your company? There’s only one way to find out.

 

 

 

Decision Making as an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

Turn to clear vision flickr

By Tony Webster via Flickr

Recall the biggest decision you’ve faced in the last five or ten years. It may have been whether to start a business, move your parents into an assisted care facility, or maybe go back to college. What were the factors you considered when choosing between options? If your Emotional Quotient is relatively high, you considered more than just the pros and cons and potential outcomes and risks. You considered your own preferences and you considered how those decisions were affected by your own emotions. You also weighed how those decisions would affect others.

Emotionally intelligent leaders aren’t held captive by their own or other people’s emotions … but they DO recognize them. They have the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply their depth of emotional perception to advance high levels of collaboration and productivity between people. Leaders with a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) are better able to accurately predict how people will react in varying situations and then tailor their message so it isn’t lost in translation.

Leaders Remain In Control

Leaders with a high EQ are cognizant of their physiological responses during any event but especially during an emotional event and use their awareness to control their own behavioral responses. This competency of control results in better decision making which leads directly to superior performance. Clear thinking culminates in better decisions.

Have you ever met a leader who “lost it” when something spiraled out of his or her control? How about a leader who maintained a calm demeanor in the face of chaos or uncertainty.

Several years ago I met a man whom I consider to be one of the wisest I’ve ever known. In his own a gentle way, he challenged my decision making process like no one had. “Consider every major decision you’ve made in your life, Ron, and I’ll wager that most of those decisions were based on your own personal comfort and happiness.”

Personally, I was horrified at that thought but I had to admit it was true. “Virtually every decision we make from where we work, to whom we marry, to even our simplest everyday decisions, is based on our own comfort, our own preferences, our own happiness” he continued. “A great leader is able to see that tendency within himself and make decisions based on the good of those his decision will affect the most, even if that decision is frightening.

Unknowingly, he was speaking of one of the five core components of emotional intelligence. And he’s right: an emotionally intelligent leader considers how his or her own emotions affect their decisions as well as the impact those decisions will have on others. An emotionally intelligent leader connects the dots. 

Taking it a step further, an emotionally intelligent leader understands and reads the emotions of those he or she is leading to adjust their communication so the message is properly received. “How” we speak is as important as what we say.

Violin

Think of the melody Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Now imagine it being played sweetly on a finely tuned violin. Imagine how easily a child (or a weary adult) could fall asleep to that lilting lullaby. Now, just as the child is about to fall asleep, change the instrument to a trumpet, played loudly above the child’s cradle. The tune is the same but how it’s played will make all the difference.

Yet, in another setting, using a trumpet to play that tune may be entirely appropriate and enjoyable.

The Emotionally Intelligent Leader Adjusts

When leaders consider their own emotions as well as the emotional responses and needs of those they’re leading – and the leader makes adjustments – the end result is higher levels of team collaboration and productivity.

It’s a simple illustration, but it makes the point: Leaders with a high Emotional Quotient make the decision of what tune to play (strategy) and how to play it (tactics) keeping in mind the emotions, the passions, the strength of feeling, and the sensitivities of those he or she is leading. The emotionally intelligent leader makes decisions based on the strengths of the team and manages relationships in light of an understanding of the emotional makeup of the people he or she is leading.

We Are Being Acquired

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Image by Michael Heinemann via Flickr

MEMO

To: Entire Company

From: Executive Leadership Team

Re: We are being acquired

Our company is being acquired at the end of next week. During the transition you will be assigned some additional responsibilities requiring quite a lot of overtime. Two of our immediate directives from the organization acquiring us are:

1) to find ways of speeding up our current processes, preferably cutting production times by 50% (they are currently producing a similar product 60% faster than us)

2) give justification for each position within our firm

Our team can handle this challenge because we have the knowledge, experience, and skill to work out an effective solution and we know we’re good. Together, we need to come up with a creative plan to tackle this added responsibility within the next two weeks. If you have personal plans within the next two to four weeks (including weekends), you may need to cancel them.

Right Now: What’s *Your* Emotional Temperature?

Chances are very good, if you received a memo like that one, you might not be thinking 100% logically. If you were an employee, what would you be feeling? If you were planning a vacation, what would you be feeling? If you were a mid-level manager, what would you be feeling? How would you keep everyone on the team focused?

For managers with a high emotional quotient, five issues immediately come to mind:

  1. Understand what I’m personally feeling and why
  2. Control MY emotions
  3. Understand the emotions of my team
  4. Work my own personal motivation to do my best
  5. Keep the team focused and on track

The Biggest Factor in Emotional Intelligence

Change. Positive or negative, change affects our emotions more than any other factor.

What is Emotional Intelligence? It’s the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power, keenness, and depth of perception of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity. Leaders with a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) are better able to accurately understand and predict how people will react in varying situations and tailor their message so it isn’t lost in translation.

Communication isn’t about talking and listening. The essence of communication is understanding.

Portrait of male chimpanzee in business setting

Portrait of male chimpanzee in business setting

Leaders with a high EQ are cognizant of their physiological responses during any event but especially during an emotional event and use their awareness to control their own behavioral responses. This competency of control results in better decision making which leads directly to superior performance.

Researchers in Emotional Intelligence, tell us that 90% of the difference in performance between average leaders and stellar leaders is attributable to Emotional Intelligence.

Self-Awareness: the core of EQ

Self-awareness from an emotional intelligence standpoint is the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others. It’s knowing how your feeling and why, understanding your personal strengths and limits, and having a sense of your self worth and capabilities.

Self-Regulation: for the EQ ninja master

Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment and think before acting. Those high in Self-Regulation keep any of their own potentially  disruptive emotions and impulses in check while still maintaining standards of honesty and integrity. These managers take responsibility for personal performance, demonstrate flexibility and handling change and are comfortable with novel ideas, approaches and new information.

Empathy: understanding the other person

Within our EQ framework, empathy is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people, essentially sensing others’ feelings and perspectives and taking an active interest in their concerns.  Managers with a high Emotional Quotient sense their employee’s development needs and bolster their abilities. Taking it a step further, these managers anticipate, recognize, and meet the needs of others, cultivating opportunities through different kinds of people. Managers high in the empathy section of EQ can read a group’s emotional currents and power relationships.

Motivation: the EQ factor MOST leave out

Any Emotional Intelligence model that leaves out motivation is essentially … incomplete.

Motivation within our EQ framework is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status, and a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. IT’s striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence and aligning with the goals of a group or organization. Those managers high in the motivation component are ready to act on opportunities and will exhibit the persistence necessary in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks.

Social Skills: keeping everyone on track

We define social skills for the emotionally intelligent as a proficiency in managing relationships and building networks while wielding effective tactics for persuasion. It includes listening openly and sending convincing messages and negotiating and dissolving disagreements. Managers high in this component are inspiring and can guide individuals and groups especially through change. They’re adept at nurturing instrumental relationships for building bonds and working with others toward shared goals. These managers create group synergy in pursuing collective goals.

How well do your current managers handle emotionally charged events?

Call us.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles.

Want to learn more? First check out our website and then contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top management talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

Hiring, Development, Engagement, and Retention Have A Common Theme

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Given the state of employee engagement today (some estimates say that only 13% of the workforce is really engaged), employers and hiring managers are scrambling to find ways to keep good employees from either leaving or turning into robotic automatons. And retention is its own behemoth with up to 75% of employees admitting that they’re “looking.” How do you keep them and how do you keep them engaged?

What is the common theme?

Really knowing your employees

I mean, really. Not just knowing the car they drive, their spouse’s name, kid’s names, where they live, their favorite sports team, or what they did on vacation. You can find that out pretty easily via social media, their employment application, eavesdropping, and by looking in the parking lot.

Really knowing your employees means knowing them at a deeper level than all the surface-y rubbish that’s bandied about today.

familyAsk yourself some questions:

  1. What motivates your employees beyond money or prestige?
  2. How do you know their motivators when many people don’t even accurately know themselves?
  3. How do they prefer to be communicated with?
  4. What will make them angry?
  5. Are they data driven or people driven?
  6. How should you adapt your communication with them depending on that?
  7. How trusting of others are they?
  8. How do they follow rules set by others?
  9. Why are they always so skeptical?
  10. Do they respond better to How questions, What questions, or Why questions?
  11. Why is one employee very direct and another extraordinarily tactful?
  12. Do their feelings always seem to be hurt or do they hide their emotions?
  13. Do they prefer a casual style or a more formal style?
  14. Are they always looking for the facts of a matter?
  15. Which employees are natural leaders regardless of where they currently work in the organization and which are happiest in a supporting role?
  16. What are their dreams for their professional life … and for their family?
  17. Why do some employees want nothing but facts but others need (crave?) a more personal interaction?
  18. Do they like fast paced projects or do they prefer to work steadily on one thing at a time with no interruptions?
  19. Which ones will bristle if you pat them on the back physically?
  20. What DE-motivates them?

No two employees are alike! Can you answer these questions about the people working with, for, and above you? Wouldn’t you like to?

What difference would it make in your division, your department, your company if managers, employees, owners, and co-workers understood each other on these terms (and many, many more)?

“I feel understood … “

A plant manager we work with recently took another, much higher level position with a different company. He was one of those people who made certain to know, really know, his staff (over 100) and their behavioral styles. He focused on developing them based on their intrinsic motivators and adapted his communications so that his message wouldn’t get misinterpreted. He accomplished this using validated employee TriMetrix assessments.

At the plant meeting where the announcement of his departure took place, multiple employees cried. One in particular said, “This is the only job I’ve ever had where I was completely understood.” Many others, upon hearing her words, agreed.

Use the right tools

One thing that’s telling is that this manager, using the right tools, knowing and understanding his employees at a deeper level, had increased the plant’s revenues over 2,000% in only 10 years. Yes, twenty times.

Once you know an employee … a person … at a deeper level, how they’re motivated, how they behave and why, our customers tell us that retention is relatively easy. Development decisions are relatively easy. Hiring decisions are much easier. Engagement becomes a walk in the park because you only put people into positions that they naturally fit. They don’t want to leave.

Much more than money

Bag_of_cashAnother recent client hired a very high level VP who was a superstar in her industry. After working for the client for about three years, a rumor surfaced that she was looking to move to another company – only it wasn’t just a rumor, it was true. The client offered her more money. Three weeks after her substantial raise, she was interviewed by a competitor. The client found out and offered her even more money. It didn’t seem to help.

After reviewing the VP’s behavioral and motivational profile, we recommended that the VP be offered a position as a committee chair that would meet with the CEO quarterly to discuss her department’s salespeople’s challenges in the field. It was also recommended that she be given an allowance to redecorate her office.

Once those initiative were put into place, it was like night and day. She became much happier and told her boss, “It was never about the money, Paul, but you just kept throwing it at me. I wasn’t going to say NO to more money but it was never about my paycheck.” Her boss was confused but happy to keep her, even at the higher price. She was motivated differently than her boss but he had never read her profile. He knew her kid’s names, her husband’s name and where he worked. He knew she was a marathoner, and that she loved to cook. But he didn’t know her behavioral preferences and style, her motivators, her capacity for problem solving, or her core competencies. He learned though! At that point, every key executive’s profile became important and the company began improving by leaps and bounds.

The CRITICAL factor

Knowing your employees is vital. Assessing them is critical. As an employer, you’ll find things you never knew about even about people you’ve worked with for decades. It happens all the time.

Don’t think that the latest “game” or the latest “question of the week” will give you anywhere near the deeper level information about an employee or a prospective employee that a validated assessment will give you. Surface games and surface questions will give you surface answers. As an employer, you need much more than what’s just on the surface.

Do you want know your employees on a deeper level?

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Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning. Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

A Bad Management Hire Is Almost Impossible To Correct

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Tim & Selena Middleton via Flickr

The devastation wrecked on an organization due to a bad management hire can last decades.

We’ve all seen them. People who were promoted to a management position because of their success in a previous position or because of who they knew (or who their daddy knew). Often times, failed CEO’s are simply recycled into other organizations where they fail yet again. I’ve even seen people mistakenly hired to oversee hundreds of employees because they played tennis with the right people and had married into a prominent family.

A bad management hire is almost impossible to correct

But they’re painfully easy to spot.

Gallup just released their State of the American Manager report, finding that organizations hire the wrong people for management positions 82% of the time, costing the economy between $319 billion and $398 billion per year.

How do these people get promoted to management positions in the first place? Several reasons:

  1. It was their “turn” to be promoted
  2. They were successful in a previous, lesser role so the assumption was that they would succeed in a bigger role (see The Peter Principle)
  3. Hiring managers are perfect examples of the Dunning-Krueger Effect

Harsh? Perhaps. $398 billion is pretty harsh too.

What does a “low talent” manager look like?

They’re the exact opposite of a top performing manager.

Their team’s performance is stagnant because the manager isn’t engaged or even remotely connected emotionally to the organization’s goals. Their expectations, if they set any at all, are either too low or wildly optimistic. In other words, they’re out of touch.

They’re unable to initiate positive change and the team struggles to generate momentum. They’re always “starting with a fresh slate” but your organization doesn’t need another “fresh start” … it needs momentum.

They lack both personal accountability and accountability for others. Their inability to organize the team’s assignments coherently makes meeting any type of goal much more of a struggle.

They use fear and manipulation instead of building a trusting relationship with their team members. There’s very little trust, almost no transparency, and dialogue is virtually non-existent.

They let office politics run the show. When it comes time to make any sort of decision, all the political implications are considered first. Expediency rules the day and the first law is “Don’t Get Fired.” The second law is “Find the Decision I’m Most Comfortable With.” The 187th law is “Do What’s In The Best Interest of Everyone Involved.”

average

There is good news

Each of these defining characteristics are measurable using the right battery of psychometric evaluations. In less than 45 minutes, we can tell you each managerial candidate’s propensity for:

  • Understanding how to provide the motivation their team needs
  • Exercising the proper assertiveness to overcome obstacles
  • Applying both Personal Accountability and Accountability for Others
  • Building positive relationships with team members and clients
  • Solving problems without getting bogged down in petty office politics
  • Planning for contingencies, having an eye on the future, and making a decisions based on the best interests of the company and everyone involved

Gallup’s research into 27 million employees led by 2.5 million managers has shown that only an elite 10% have all these qualities naturally. They’re the top performing managers your company needs. Another two in ten can get there IF their organization supports them with intensive coaching and training.

In an age where the ability of employees and managers to adapt and innovate is what determines the future of most organizations, corporate directors must begin to educate themselves on talent assessment. C-suite appointments should not be made based on intuition or cursory evaluations. Instead, directors must commit themselves to learning and living the best practices for making the right hiring decisions. ~ Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

If you want a top performing managerial team, you’ll have to search for it (it may already be working at your company). And based on the dismal failure rate (82%) of most organizations, there’s very little chance of finding that team without the right tools to help you identify it.

Research indicates you need an outside voice that isn’t impressed by a resume, an interview that went well, a candidate’s previous success, political connections, or a list of credentials as long as your arm; a voice with reason, that can see things more objectively.

With the right tools, you can identify leaders and managers that fit the criteria to take your organization to a position of superior performance. It will require four different validated instruments backed by brain science:

  1. A behavioral analysis to determine how a potential candidate will approach obstacles, accountability, and build trust
  2. A motivators evaluation to determine how a potential managerial candidate will handle office politics and still remain collaborative
  3. An emotional intelligence assessment to determine how a potential managerial candidate will relate with and understand people
  4. An axiological values analysis to determine how a potential managerial candidate will employ an empathetic outlook, hold themselves and others accountable, and make systematic judgements

Without all four, you’re likely to flounder with the 82%. 

Is that acceptable to you?

What are the implications of more managerial mis-hires for your organization?

Are you willing to do anything about it other than the same old thing you’ve done for the last 15 years?

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles. 

————————————–

Want to learn more? Contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create genuine Job Matching System solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881. 

Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers

wolf-argument-Tambako-the-Jaguar-flickrDo certain co-workers drive you nuts? Drive you up the wall? Maybe even out the door and down the street? Do you wish you could understand your boss, co-worker, or friend? How about your spouse? Your kid’s? Your kid’s teachers?

“For many people, one of the most frustrating aspects of life is not being able to understand other people’s behavior.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Usually, once we understand the reasons behind someone’s behavior our relationship improves. Assuming Goethe knew what he was talking about, everyone would love to understand other people’s behavior. The good news is, there’s a way to do just that.

But understanding isn’t always enough. We have to adapt to another’s behavior for a real breakthrough to occur and the easiest way is to learn to use DISC. Adaptation begins with knowledge, has willingness in the middle, and is topped off by patience.

Try Using DISC To Understand Others

In 1928, the four DISC behavioral styles were identified by Harvard psychologist William Moulton Marston in his book, “The Emotions of Normal People.” Everyone has each of those four behavioral factors in varying degrees:

  • D-Dominant (how we handle problems and challenges)
  • I-Influencing (how we influence others)
  • S-Steadiness (how we respond to the pace of our environment)
  • C-Cautious, Compliant (how we respond to rules set by others)
Target Training International has researched and developed the DISC behavioral styles so that there are 384 different combinations, each with a distinct way of behaving in different environments under different conditions. TTI has furthered developed Marston’s research into eight styles with 12 varying behaviors but for this article, I’ll only deal with the original four.

Identifying Each Person’s “Core” Style

A core style is a person’s highest scoring factor and it will generally dominate a person’s behavioral tendencies. Granted some people have two very high core styles and some even have three that are relatively high and they all interact with each other (thus the 384 different combinations). But generally, people have one style that  takes center stage, especially in stressful times. That’s their core style.

Office ConflictPeople who have the core D and I styles are generally more extroverted; those with the core S and C styles are generally more introverted. High I’s and S’s are people-oriented while D’s and C’s are task oriented. Remember that everyone has at least a little of each style. Introverts have some tendencies where they’ll act more extroverted and extroverts have some introverted tendencies. Usually it depends on the situation and people can and do adapt. Unlike with many other assessments, there are no dichotomies.

After you believe you may know someone’s core style, you’re better prepared to communicate and relate to them, to build stronger rapport, and have an overall more positive relationship.

So, for the sake of simplicity, identify a person’s core style this way:

  1. Extroverted and task-oriented: Core D
  2. Extroverted and people-oriented: Core I
  3. Introverted and people-oriented: Core S
  4. Introverted and task-oriented: Core C
Can people have a High D and a High S? You bet. Are they introverted or extroverted? In those cases, it can go either way but that person will feel inner conflict. I’m a High D and a High C so I know what that’s like. 

Learn How to Communicate with Each Style

Core D: These are confident people who value efficiency and results, preferably quick results. They can be loud, boisterous, and opinionated. They’re very businesslike in most settings, but especially those of a professional nature. DO be clear, specific, brief and to the point. Stick to business, be efficient, be confident. DON’T waste their time, be wishy-washy, disorganized, or socialize too much. Never ramble. Many CEO’s and people in leadership positions are Core D’s.

Core I: They are people, people, people! They smile, talk, laugh, and put people at ease. They want to socialize and can be too trusting of people or ideas. DO be friendly and outgoing, let them talk about their experiences, smile more often and laugh with them, especially if they tell a joke. They have an inherent need to interact with others. DON’T be pretentious or patronizing, be too businesslike, cold, unfriendly or impersonal, and don’t take credit for their ideas. Many salespeople are Core I’s.

Core S: They want to slow the world down. They’re fantastic organizers and perform very well in support roles, Talk more softly and tone down your body language with them. DO be slow, patient, sincere, logical, soft-spoken, and non-threatening. Use “please” and “thank you” a lot more. DON’T be loud, abrupt or quick. Don’t threaten or pressure them, force quick decisions, touch or move things on their desk or in their office. Many support staff are Core S’s.

Core C: They need a lot of data, facts, and more time to make any decision. They will challenge almost everything (including this article), demanding evidence, links, research papers … but it still may not be enough to convince them. They’re very diplomatic, highly accurate, and want things done right. DO be straightforward, accurate, realistic, present specifics, be organized and follow through, give them space, keep your distance. DON’T be disorganized, messy, casual, informal, abrupt, chatty, or try to convince them with feelings and opinions. Don’t touch them except with a handshake. Many accountants and attorneys are Core C’s.

There’s a lot more to understanding how to communicate and relate with each style, but using these guidelines will help improve your communication with others.

Know Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses

Our goal is to focus on our strengths and strive to improve our weaknesses. Sometimes, a weakness or limitation is a strength that’s taken to an extreme.

It’s not what style you are:
it’s what you do with what you are. ~ Bill Bonnstetter, CEO of Target Training International

Core D strengths: Makes quick decisions (even in an ambiguous environment), very efficient, gets things accomplished, and wants to be out front and in control.

Core D weaknesses: Can be overbearing, loud, intimidating, impatient, abrasive, makes decisions without thinking through all the consequences, quick to place blame. May break rules if the end justifies the means.

Core I strengths: Good conversationalist, persuasive, friendly, optimistic, trusting, good at giving presentations and mediating conflicts between the styles, life of the party.

Core I weaknesses: Can over-control the conversation, forgetful, disorganized, a poor listener, rambles on and on, can be unrealistic, likes being the center of attention, talks without thinking, too trusting. May break rules simply because they were unaware of them.

Core S strengths: Quiet, helpful, team player, methodical, friendly, good worker, and patient to a fault. Excels in support roles and loves working behind the scenes.

Core S weaknesses: Avoids conflict, may clam up, can be slow, wants to work on only one thing at a time, may become passive-aggressive, resists change, slow to make decisions. May take criticism personally and may wait (patiently) for any direction or orders before taking action. May internalize feelings.

Core C strengths: Neat, analytical, logical, organized, works from templates, detail-oriented, precise, accurate, finds mistakes others may have missed, follows rules, very diplomatic, high standards.

Core C weaknesses: Too low-risk, requires too much data to make decisions, fearful, evasive, pessimistic, a perfectionist, will point out mistakes of others (even if they’re minor mistakes like spelling), experiences internal conflict making a decision without rules or precedent. May be defensive when criticized yet be too hard on themselves.

Being aware of your limitations is the first step. Pick one area right now that’s holding you back and begin improving this negative behavior.

Don’t Take It Personally

“People don’t get up in the morning thinking about how they can make it a bad day for you.” ~ Judy Suiter

We tend to find certain people more difficult to deal with and generally, it’s because they have a Core Style that’s at odds with our own. It doesn’t necessarily make them difficult, it’s just that we have a difficult time relating to them.

If you’re a full-steam-ahead, let’s get things done NOW type of person, you’re going to be unhappy with someone who wants to think things over for a couple of days. If you’re extremely precise and accurate, you’re not going to gel with someone who is disorganized. If you think out loud, and you’re dealing with someone who’s uncomfortable showing their emotions it will cause difficulty. Work to NOT ascribe intent to the impact another’s actions may have on you or your emotions. That’s tough to do.

Tell people how their behavior makes you uncomfortable. “Phil, I know you want to make a quick decision on this project but I’m uncomfortable doing that considering the new parameters the customer emailed to us this morning. Can we go over them a second time to insure we aren’t missing anything?”

“Jill, I know you don’t want to make a mistake on this but we’ve gone over the specs for two days with four different engineers. I’m uncomfortable delaying a decision any longer. What do you think?”

Adapt to Other’s Behavioral Styles

The way to improve communications with others is to do three things:

  1. Understand your own behavioral style
  2. Understand the styles of people who are different from you
  3. Adapt your style to theirs

Treat others the way they want to be treated and your relationship will flourish. People will naturally warm up to you and treat YOU better just as a by-product. True excellence begins when both people adapt their communication styles to each other.

Can you imagine how much better teams would interact if everyone understood these principles?

Don’t Criticize Another’s Style

Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves.. ~ Stephen Kendrick

If you know someone is aggressive, how selfish is it to want them to change because you don’t like it? If you know someone is friendly and outgoing, how egotistical is it to expect them to tone it down when they’re around you? If you know someone is naturally a slower paced person, how inconsiderate is it to tell them to hurry up just to satisfy your desires? If you know someone is precise and attentive to detail, how conceited is it to tell them to stop and “see the big picture?”

It’s a symptom of our own selfishness when we get irritated or angry with anyone for being who they naturally are, even if their behavior isn’t the best at the time. Too often we assign intent where there was none based solely on the impact another person’s behavior has on us.

We think we can read minds … and we can’t. However, we CAN read behavior and adapt our own to secure a better communication.

conflict-at-office

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles.

————————————–

Want to learn more? First check out our website and then contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

10 Signs Your Team Needs Communications Training

communication-Sebastien-Wiertz-flickrRecently Bloomberg conducted a study among 1,320 recruiters from 600 companies asking, “What skills does your company want or need but cannot find in job candidates?” Some of the 14 skills included items like:

  • Adaptability
  • Decision Making
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Leadership Skills
  • Collaboration
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Motivation/Drive

Ironically, we already measure every one of those 14 skills with our Job Matching System but the one that was consistently at the top of the needed skills list across all industries was:

Communication

Without the ability to communicate effectively, your “cultural fit” doesn’t matter. Your experience doesn’t matter. Your leadership potential doesn’t matter. Your strategic thought processes don’t matter. If you cannot insure that the message you’re sending is properly received without a loss in translation, nothing else matters.

It’s no surprise that leaders, teams, families, and organizations with great communication skills are more successful. But what does it mean to be a good communicator? It starts with knowing yourself.

  • If I know more about me than you know about you, I can control the situation.
  • If I know more about me and know more about you than you know about yourself, I can control the communication.

Truly successful people know and understand themselves. They know their own strengths and weaknesses and they have a well-developed ability to study a situation and adjust both their behavior and their communication for maximum effectiveness.

The great news is that improving communications is possible. But sometimes, you have to consider the Dunning-Kruger Effect and realize that those who need it rarely recognize that they need it. Dunning-Kruger says that, for any given skill (communications, for example), unskilled people will:

  1. Fail to recognize their own lack of skill
  2. Fail to recognize genuine skill in others
  3. Fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy
  4. BUT — will recognize and acknowledge their previous lack of skill IF they are exposed to training for that skill

That’s where Communications Training comes in because no one can correct a problem if they don’t even know it exists.

What are some of the indicators you, your team, or someone on your team needs communications training?

1. Listening to Reply

Teams that truly listen don’t listen to reply, they listen to understand. Do they interrupt with “BUT” or “However” or do they ask questions to foster better understanding?

2. Differing Priorities Different Pages

Employees and teams all have multiple priorities and a To-Do list as long as your arm but few people have the exact same list. You may think you’ve communicated which items are top priority but if you ask for a status update on Project “A” and the employees says, “Oh, I’ve been working on Project ‘B’ all week” it’s a communications issue.

3. Recurring Arguments

Do your teams repeatedly spar over the same disagreements? Do they use the words “always” or “never” when speaking to, with, or about other team members? Are issues resolved or do they seep into each project that comes up?

4. Projects Miss Their Target

You may think you’ve explained everything very well but if your idea of a project’s deliverable is different than the team’s idea, you’ll miss your target every time. Somehow what you communicated wasn’t received properly. When employees think they understand, they don’t ask for more information. Whether they understand or not is the job of the manager. When a manager understands HOW an employee receives information, better communication is always the result.

5. Disrespect for Another’s Point of View

We each see things differently because of a myriad of inputs (education, experiences, thought patterns, parental upbringing, personality, etc.). Do team members respect each other’s point of view or do they belittle or discount another person’s ideas? Disagreement over conclusions, recommendations, or how-to’s is great, even healthy, in a team atmosphere. Expressing disrespect for another team member’s point of view, however, is not.

6. Emotions

It may be that your team needs an Emotional Intelligence Workshop in addition to Communications Training. Emotions work their way into virtually everything we do so if you have team member’s that are easily angered, frequently express impatience, are constantly worried or fearful, always take the negative viewpoint, can never be satisfied with the amount of data you have, or cannot work through their emotions, training can help.

7. Withholding Information

Information is power in today’s world. I once worked with a VP who asked why I was explaining to lower level associates how our company calculated ROI, why it was important, and how doing their jobs well factored into the calculation. His response? “Ron, WE’RE management. We don’t have to explain anything to anybody.” Blew. Me. Away. I’ve never forgotten it.

Any information that helps your team do a better job or understand how their jobs/projects factor into the success of the company is information that should be shared. Teams or team members that hold onto information nuggets for the sake of hoarding information nuggets desperately need communications training (and probably some other training as well).

8. Misunderstandings

Teams with good communication skills will still have misunderstandings. No one is perfect, but those misunderstandings are quickly corrected and are fewer and farther between. Teams needing communication training misunderstand each other’s actions and try to assign intent to the impact those actions may have. Once a team has decided intent, most decisions thereafter are not the best.

9. Failure to Talk At All

Clamming up is never a good thing. Emails that go unanswered, phone calls that are never returned, status updates that are never sent all point to a team or team member’s failure to communicate on a timely basis. Many times problems are growing during these periods of “radio silence” … problems that could be easily solved when caught early but wind up growing into full-grown-issues due to a lack of communication. If your teams are failing to communicate at all, communications training can help.

10. Assumptions

Earlier, I mentioned assigning intent based on the impact a person’s actions had. Anytime we do that, we have to make assumptions. Making assumptions isn’t always a bad thing; sometimes, because we have to operate quickly with limited information, we’re forced to assume a few things in order to continue driving a project forward. But if a team or team member is making assumptions about the intent of another, that rarely is accurate. We all know what “assume” means and for the most part, it’s true. Assuming, without having perfect knowledge, can put egg on our face. Teams with good communications skills rarely have to assume anything because they’re constantly asking questions to improve their own understanding.

Correcting A Team’s Communications Issues

There are several ways:

1. Schedule a Communications Workshop. Depending on the size of the group, these can take as little as half a day and it’s a fantastic way to help teams understand each other. We’ve conducted thousands of these workshops and participants are constantly amazed how they can improve their communications skills within the group.

2. Clearly clarify your team’s deliverables. Every team member has to get on the same page and be pulling toward the same goal. I’ve personally created checklists for my teams in the past to insure that what needed to be accomplished was on everyone’s radar. Then, ask your employees to explain those deliverables to you.

3. Set clear expectations in light of your mission. Think like a reporter when it comes to expectations: who, what, when, where, why, and how. How often do you want updates? Who is responsible? What are the deliverables? Where and when are they to occur? Then make sure your employees understand why. Once employees understand why, 99% of them are better engaged.

4. Check in on a regular basis. Since so many teams are scattered, it isn’t easy to saunter by the cube farm and ask, “How’s it going?” anymore. Schedule regular intervals so the team knows you’ll be checking with them.

5. Understand how each employee receives information best. You’ll need to assess each employee to accurately accomplish this aspect but it provides a stratospheric ROI when you can tailor your message to each employee’s patterns of receiving information.

Communications Issues Never Fix Themselves

It’s incumbent on managers to recognize and work to correct communications issues on their teams. Hoping they’ll improve NEVER works. Tackle the issue head on and ask if they’d like to have a workshop training session to help improve their communications, get accurately heard by other team members, and achieve higher levels of productivity.

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles. 

————————————–

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create job matching solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

 

7 Signs Your Team Needs An Emotional Intelligence Workshop

With longer lifespans, delayed retirements, and a large influx of new workers, today’s workforce could potentially have five generations working together. We’re multi-generational, multi-national, and multi-cultural all at the same time resulting in different work styles, different communication styles, different work ethics, different expectations from jobs, different behavioral styles, different emotions, and different motivational styles. What kind of leader is needed? One with a high degree of Emotional Intelligence. Bringing all these factions together will be challenging for those without it.

Emotional Quotient iceberg

What is Emotional Intelligence? It’s the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power, keenness, and depth of perception of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity. Leaders with a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) are better able to accurately predict how people will react in varying situations and tailor their message so it isn’t lost in translation.

Leaders with a high EQ are cognizant of their physiological responses during any event but especially during an emotional event and use their awareness to control their own behavioral responses. This competency of control results in better decision making which leads directly to superior performance.

Emotional intelligence

Researchers in Emotional Intelligence, tell us that 90% of the difference in performance between average leaders and stellar leaders is attributable to Emotional Intelligence. Their models list five components Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Self Awareness – The ability to recognize and understand your own moods, emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.
  2. Self Regulation – The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the inclination to suspend judgment and think before acting.
  3. Motivation – A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status, and a tendency to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
  4. Empathy – The ability to read, sense, even anticipate the emotional makeup of other people.
  5. Social Skills – A proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.

What are the symptoms your team may need an Emotional Intelligence workshop?

Remember that emotions are signals. Teams needing an Emotional Intelligence workshop generally lack the ability to process the information and communications that are being sent. An if they can’t get the information that’s being sent their way, it may indicate they simply need training.

Don’t ever fault anyone for having a low EQ. It’s simply a skill-set they haven’t learned yet. Some learn it over long periods of time (aka maturity) while others can learn in a workshop setting.

1. Blame

Teams with a high average EQ accept personal responsibility for their own actions and aren’t quick to blame others when things go wrong.

What you’ll hear:

  • “It’s not my fault … it’s his fault”
  • “I could get things done if she were more responsible.”
  • “He didn’t get his portion completed on time so I had nothing to do and went home.”

2. Reactionary

There’s always a fire to put out, an emergency to handle, a serious or unexpected event that could have been prevented with proper planning. Teams or individuals in need of an Emotional Intelligence workshop have lots of knee-jerk reactions. They don’t respond, they react.

What you’ll hear:

  • “Here we go again … we have a situation.”
  • “Houston, we have ~another~ problem.”
  • “We’re going to miss our deadline because [preventable event].”

3. Clam ups & Blow Ups

Team members, when confronted or in an emotionally charged situation either clam up and say nothing (while fuming inside) or blow up in anger and say things that simply did not need to be said … in a way they should not have said them.

What you’ll hear:

  • Silence (clam ups)
  • “Don’t you accuse ME of making a mistake!”
  • “This is ALL YOUR FAULT! You’re worthless!”

4. Perpetual Victim Statements

Some call it “poor mouthing.” What it is really is FEAR or ENVY. A perpetual victim mentality manifests itself in negative beliefs about the intentions of others, in believing others are just “lucky”, or in having no other choices.

What you’ll hear:

  • “We either have to invest a ton of money or close up shop.”
  • “We NEVER get the breaks/budget/chances.”
  • “Senior leadership is just out to shut us down.”

5. Defensiveness

This usually shows up in excessive sensitivity to criticism. People get defensive when they fear being attacked and may mis-interpret even simple questions as accusations. Feedback isn’t accepted at face value but is interpreted as a personal vendetta against a person or the team.

What you’ll hear:

  • “Don’t YOU blame ME for anything!”
  • “I did everything I could so this isn’t MY fault!”
  • “Let me just explain something to you … I’m the only one really working around here!”

6. Arrogance

An arrogant team is self-absorbed (PRIDE) in their own self-importance and may tend to believe their work is more critical than any other team’s work.

What you’ll hear:

  • “I don’t care how this affects other departments or the rest of the company.”
  • “We’re the driving force behind all the company’s profits.”
  • “What’s right is right, I don’t care who gets hurt in the process.”

7. A Gap Between Intent and Impact

There’s usually a serious gap between what’s meant to be communicated and what’s heard. That happens all the time but for teams needing an Emotional Intelligence workshop, they’re unable to decipher the gap.

What you’ll hear:

  • “All we care about is results and if that offends someone, so be it.”
  • “You meant to hurt my feelings!”
  • “What’s the big deal?”
  • “It’s so simple even a FIRST GRADER could get it. Sheesh!”

There’s going to be negative situations occur in any workplace. What an Emotional Intelligence workshop does is prepare people to handle those negative situations and work through them without making assumptions about another’s intentions.

20,000 Moments

Some other things you’ll hear from teams needing an Emotional Intelligence workshop:

  • “All I ever do is put our fires.”
  • “All I am is a baby sitter around here.”
  • “I wish I could fire everyone and start over.”

Scientists tell us our brains recognize around 20,000 “moments” per day. You’ve probably experienced an encounter at work that affected you negatively. Recall how you felt at that moment. How did you feel later that day? Did you think about it and run through different scenarios in your mind? How productive were you the rest of the day? Did you snap at other coworkers, friends, or family? Did you make excuses for your bad mood by saying, “I’ve just had a really bad day. John and Betty both said that I wasn’t pulling my weight and it infuriated me …  I felt like they ganged up on me.”

When we’re faced with any negative event, it affects our emotions and subsequently can take four hours (or more) to dissipate the negative toxins that are released in our brain. It can take six or seven good events to cancel out one bad event. But for those with a high Emotional Quotient (EQ), that time frame is shortened.

Once a team or a team member is able to get back to a clearer state of mind, they can get on with being productive again.

Where do you go from here?

This can be just another article you read with information that fades with time or you can take action to improve the performance of your team (and even your own). Very often we think that a big impact comes about only as the result of a big change but with Emotional Intelligence, it’s those small course corrections that often result in long-term success.

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles.

————————————–

Want to learn more? Check out our website and then contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, >Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

Can Just Anyone Be A Top Performing Manager?

square-peg-round-hole

Short answer: No. Not a “top performing” manager.

People don’t like hearing this but despite what your doting relatives told you as a little kid or what some over-priced motivational book’s author screams from a stage, each of us has intrinsic limitations. We all know it. We just don’t like to admit it.

Can an old dog learn new tricks? Absolutely yes. Can an intrinsic non-manager learn to become a top performing manager? Absolutely not. Can they get by? Sure if ‘getting by’ is all the company wants. But not as a top performing manager … one who consistently gets results, who regularly overcomes obstacles, who is reliably emotionally intelligent enough to read people and then adjust, who predictably makes decisions despite the inter-office political implications, who invariably creates an environment of personal accountability, who always builds positive, engaging work relationships, and who delivers distinguished performance as a matter of routine.

To quote the most recent Gallup Survey on the State of the American Manager:

Virtually all companies try to fix bad managers with training. Nothing fixes a bad manager.

Nothing Fixes A Bad Manager

Gallup found that only 10% of the people they’ve surveyed possess the necessary intrinsic motivators, behavioral characteristics, emotional intelligence, and axiological values to be a top performing manager … naturally. Another 20% CAN get there IF the organization supports them with intensive training and coaching. And lest we forget:

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 2.18.38 PM

And that’s after studying 2.5 million manager led teams of 27 million people. If you have stronger research, please forward it to me.

Why do companies pick the wrong manager?

Because they use the wrong selection criteria.

  • Tradition – this is how we’ve always picked managers (using resumes, behavioral interviews, referrals, conversational interviews, reference checks, education, background checks, trusting someone’s “gut”)
  • Tenure – this person has been here the longest and is “ready” to be a manager
  • Accomplishments – they were successful in a previous role
  • Connections – no explanation needed (they play tennis or golf with the right people, married into the right family, members of the right club, , etc)
  • Political Implications – they’re safe to promote … there won’t be many political ramifications or “backtalk”

How-Org-Choose-Mgr
Tenure times Tradition plus Accomplishments times Connections all divided by the Political Implications of the hire. The lower the PI the easier it is to promote. Of course, the higher up the corporate ladder the hiring manager (aka decision maker) is currently, the lower the PI for his/her management candidate preference.

The result of using this formula?

Disengaged managers. When we put someone into a position for which they do not fit, they don’t have at least some natural talent for, or that they really didn’t deserve, they will not be engaged with that position in a manner that generates superior performance. They can love the job. They can be passionate about it. But over the course of time they will become disengaged because the job doesn’t match their intrinsic needs. Conflict will ensue.

Another result? Disengaged employees. Research shows that up to 70% of an employee’s disengagement level is due to their manager. And when managers themselves aren’t engaged with their work? You can’t expect their employees to be engaged either. Gallup’s research shows that 51% of managers are just dialing it in and another 14% are actively looking to do harm to the organization.

manager-engagement-2015
How SHOULD an organization select  managers?

Begin by carefully outlining what the job needs for superior performance in the role. Not every management position has the same exact requirements – some deal with the same people on a daily basis while some deal with lots of different people all day long. Some positions are more data and task driven while others are more people driven. Without knowing precisely what the JOB needs, you won’t be able to pinpoint the person that would perform it best, When you don’t know who you’re looking for, you’ll start looking for a Superhero. But I have bad news. Superheroes don’t exist.

A better way is to accurately benchmark the position’s three to five Key Accountabilities. No position should have more than six or seven Key Accountabilities – if it does, that position needs to be divided into TWO positions. Once you have the KA’s, it’s a simple matter of having subject matter experts use a series of assessments to create the ideal employee for the position and compare your candidates to that standard.

A Better Way To Select Managers

Start with a validated Job Matching System that sets the standard for a management position based on what the position needs rather than a vague list of job duties (aka the job description) or a hiring manager’s personal preferences. We call it a Job Benchmark and it starts by gathering those who know the job best and asking them to outline the Key Accountabilities of the position … essentially asking, “Why does this managerial job exist?”

Key Accountabilities

What are the Key Accountabilities required of the manager on the job? What does the job itself require, not what the big boss or the people doing the job think it requires. A Key Accountability is a specific task or set of tasks the manager must do on a daily basis to justify the position’s existence. You need to know the Key Accountabilities for each management position and rank them according to their importance in getting the job right.

Job Behaviors

What behaviors are required by the job for superior management performance? If the job could speak out loud it would say, “I need [X] to be done this particular way to be done right.” Not the way it’s being done now or how it’s always been done or how the employee would like to do the job – but how it should be done for maximum success.

Job Motivators

What are the attitudes and motivators are required by the job for superior performance? What values does the job reward? For example, if the job calls for someone with a strong resourceful attitude – someone driven to attain practical results and maximizes any investment of time, money or other resources – then only a person with those values will be happy in the job and do it the way it should be done.

A job may need someone with a highly collaborative attitude, or a principled attitude, or an instinctive attitude. The management candidates with those intrinsic attitudes will do the job better, more effectively, more passionately, and for longer than those without them.

The Candidate’s Motivators and Behavioral Styles

You’ll need to know each applicant’s behavioral tendencies, motivators, and attitudes in order to match them to the job. There’s no other way to know for sure that people will be superior performers in a particular management position prior to bringing them on board than to hire only those whose behavioral styles and motivators match those of the job itself. This is the most powerful hiring tool you can have if hiring top talent is a priority. You’ll also need an assessment that will give you a set of specific questions to ask any potential employee.

Motivating Your Employees

You have manuals for virtually every piece of equipment in your company. In order to attract, develop, and retain the best people, managers must have a “people manual” composed of validated assessments that will tell them exactly how to motivate, how to manage, and how to communicate effectively with each individual reporting to them. Our assessments take all the guesswork out of hiring and developing top talent so that employee empowerment becomes the crucial part of your retention process.

Once you take these steps, you’ll have a performance review process that includes employee evaluations based on the job’s Key Accountabilities, Behaviors, and Attitudes. If both you and the management employee know what’s expected in well defined terms, performance reviews are a snap.

How do you accomplish these steps?

First, benchmark the job itself, not the people in the job. Benchmarking the job  takes all the bias, American Idol type personality contests, ambiguity, and non job-related elements out of the hiring and managing process. Once the job benchmark is complete, then assess your employees and applicants for a comparison to the job assessments. The gaps become readily apparent for those who don’t match the job’s needs.

There’s no better way to get and keep the right people in management, than to take these steps to put the best people in your management positions.

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Want to learn more? First check out our website and then contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top management talent, create genuine Job Matching System solutions, and implement succession planning for key management positions.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.