Creating Integrated Teams

We all have heard throughout our lives the importance and value of teamwork. Even as children, on sports teams and in school, we have consistently been influenced by the concept of teamwork. Real teams out perform a cluster of people in a working group. There is a distinct performance difference between the two entities. So how do we take these long held beliefs that teamwork is more effective in driving performance and apply it to the workplace – especially, when we are living in an era where competition is the new collaboration? Is it really possible to bring teamwork to an environment where our role and the roles of others are currently viewed as being independent of the goals, objectives, and mission of the organization? The answer is, yes! We create integrated teams by implementing the skill sets of improved communication and cooperative attitude.

What is an integrated team? An integrated team is a group composed of people with different areas of expertise and knowledge. Members of this team function in harmony, contributing their respective technical and behaviour skills toward the completion of a task or the accomplishment of a goal. This team follows what the professional literature calls an integrated systems approach whereby the work is interconnected and the members are interdependent, so low performance in one segment of the system does not have disastrous effects on the performance of the entire system.

An American example is the Leadership Excellence Network, a health care collaboration between the National Center for Healthcare Leadership and General Electric which demonstrates the superiority of team decision making. Early results indicated improvements in organizational climate, better understanding of organizational goals and expectations, greater individual and leader accountability, lower turnover, and higher retention of leader candidates. There is a caveat, however, in that while an integrated team is most optimal during an organizational crisis, it is usually at this time that conflict is brought on by various factors, including, and most significantly, behavioural dysfunction among team members often resulting from by low trust, communication lapses, lack of accountability, and competing personal agendas.

Anyone can put together a working group and call it a team, but it takes an influential leader to be able to create and sustain a highly functional integrated team. Sustaining such a team requires the leader to provide guidance and needed resources and then, get out of the way and stay out of the way. Influential leaders know that micromanagement won’t work.

As leaders, we need to focus on forming teams whose members have behavioural competencies, including interpersonal skills that enhance the team members’ financial, operational, clinical, and human resources knowledge and abilities. Technical competence is necessary to performance but without behaviour competence, performance will stagnate. The good news is behaviour change is essential to performance and behaviour change is something you have absolute control over in developing and blending of both technical and behaviour competence.

Remember that we rarely get the relationships we wish for, but we do get the relationships we work for. As you seek to expand your leadership influence in the growth of your professional career to achieve performance excellence – behaviour change using your positive emotional energy is the real change you can make.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Your Emotional Behaviour

As a leader, awareness of self and others is the most critical factor there is. This awareness translates into a knowledge and understanding of the different types of people personalities and the way they will typically interact with each other and within a team or group.

Just as there are different people personality types that we must acknowledge and adapt to, there are also differing dimensions of emotional behaviour that every leader must be aware of. Human emotion (aka feelings) is our response to our thinking and mental patterns. Our thoughts (mental patterns), in turn, predict our behaviour. A leader’s emotional behaviour style can compel followers to either connect or engage or to turn away.

My good friend and mentor, Dr. Michael Frisina, in his book “Influential Leadership – Change Your behavior, Change Your Organization, Change Health Care” (page 73), talks about emotional awareness and recognizes that emotionally aware leaders can acknowledge their gut reactions and prevent possible emotional meltdown. Emotionally aware leaders also are aware that negative responses are counterproductive to peak performance. He goes on to say, “… our behavior style can stir up emotions in others.
Behavioral style, or social/communication style, is the way we conduct ourselves in front of other people, particularly in the workplace. Are you friendly and warm? Are you reserved? Are you assertive? Are you in full control? Your behavioral style (which is different from personality) either attracts or repels other people, and vice versa. Sometimes we cannot articulate why we like or dislike someone’s behavior, because these types of preferences are unconscious.
Four categories of behavioral styles are generally recognized. Note that each researcher assigns different names to the attributes ….
All of us have a dominant style, but we also have habits that fall into the other three categories. Each style has it strengths and weaknesses, and important consideration in team formation. ….
Identifying your own style and being aware of others’ behavioral style contribute to your leadership success in several ways. First, this recognition improves your interaction and communication with others…
Second, it allows you to showcase or model (and thus teach) the combination of behavioral styles that works best. Third, it gives you an opportunity to play to your strength …”

Dr. Frisina stresses the need for leaders to be flexible. Awareness of the four categories of behaviour styles tells us when to flex and adapt our style to be more effective in response to different people and different situations. One style is not effective for all situations. A rigid style will get us into trouble; style flexibility will help us be more effective. Twenty-five percent of all situations are perfect for our own personal style….it is the other 75% of the time that we need an awareness of emotional behaviour in order to adjust our personal behavior style to move towards others and build trust.

Performance excellence is possible only when we are keenly aware of our own behaviour tendencies and habits (many of which exist at an unconscious level). There are three primary domains of workplace behavior – Self-awareness, Collaboration, and Connection – that comprise ten interdependent behavior principles common to each and every one of us. Behaviour training in the three domains of self-awareness (which is a fundamental behaviour competency), collaboration (which is a relational behaviour competency), and connection (which is an operational behaviour competency) is a systematic, programmatic methodology in real time on the job, and is best supported by coaching.

The skill of Positive Presence equips us to cultivate a positive emotional behaviour that will move us toward others to combine for a positive and energized synergy in the work environment around us.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Collaborative Culture Drives Performance

I love the American story of the “Space Race” of the 1960s. We can glean several key leadership lessons from this historic period of time as both the United States and the Soviet Union raced to put a human being on the moon.

As this so-called “space race” began, the Soviet Union had a string of firsts; they put the first satellite in space before NASA was even created. They put the first dog in space, launched the first probe to land on the moon, and then successfully launched the first human being into space. During this time, NASA toiled under its own programs, and disastrously failed to launch a rocket only a few feet before crashing. It was clear to many people in NASA that when President Kennedy gave his famous “We Choose to go to the Moon” speech, that America was not prepared to achieve this key performance objective.

So how did things change? What revitalized this fledgling space program from a series of catastrophic errors to a program that successfully outpaced its competitor and not only landed but safely returned a team of US astronauts from the surface of the moon? The turnaround began in 1963, when engineer George Mueller was named the director of the Office of Manned Space Flight. One of the most fascinating things about Mueller was that he was not an aerospace or aeronautical engineer, nor did his background have anything to do with rockets. He was an electrical engineer and as such he had a profound knowledge of systems and processes.

One of the first things Mueller did was consolidate different departments, each uniquely involved in the process of putting an individual in space: The Manned Spacecraft, Flight, and Launch Operations offices. One of his other key achievements was a complete reorganization of the direct reporting chain of each project, so that each program now had a manger and direct report and then he made each manager aware of how each project contributed to the overall success of the program. In a systematic and science based approach to outcomes, Mueller created a reporting chain that had a clear vision, clear objectives, and clear accountability for outcomes. How novel!

One of his most revolutionary practices was the mass sharing of information across NASA – in a word he enhanced the access and dissemination of information into an expanded network of people. Long before the Internet and email, the ability to rapidly share information was quite difficult. Mueller used a radio sharing system that allowed individual managers and engineers to share information with one another anytime a significant event occurred and rapid change was required. In short, George Mueller was able to transform NASA into a dynamic collaborative culture that had over 300,000 participants, 200 universities and 20,000 contractors. In less than 6 years he transformed a fledgling space program into one that was able to put the first “man” on the moon. That’s quite an influential thing to do. George Mueller knew that a culture of collaboration – shared vision, common goals, and mutual support among team members – is the secret sauce to performance outcomes… and still is today!

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Understanding Your Behaviour

Research in the neurosciences has shown there is a continuous looping and re-looping of energy both positive and negative, between a person’s two dominant human energy fields — the heart and the brain. It is this looping and re-looping of energy that makes each of us a unique individual. There is also evidence of a correlation between positive energy (positive thoughts and feelings) and our ability to ‘connect’ and work together. Also, just as we ourselves are a looping and re-looping of energy, as we come together with others within an organization (or anywhere else for that matter), our individual energies combine and create a unique synergy of its own.

Synergy is the combination of each individual’s unique energy. Understanding our self and others is essential to ensuring that the individual energy stays ‘positive’. How we choose to act and respond to each other is critical to the creation of organizational synergy. First, it is important that we understand our own personality preferences and how they affect others. Then, it is important to identify what other personality preferences exist in the environment around us. THE GOAL IS to identify one’s own personal behavioural changes that will be necessary to bring out the best in those around us.

We are all different, but we are all the same. We all have similar emotional and physical needs, but we all possess individual differences in basic temperament. ‘Personality’ means a relativity fixed set of feelings, behaviours, and responses – long-term features that comprise a person’s personality ‘make up’ or ‘profile’. And of course each different ‘profile’ will elicit different feelings, behaviours, and responses from other differing ‘profiles’. Personality profiling has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. One of the most popular in the business world today is the Myers & Briggs personality type indicator (MBTI), but there are others as well. More recently, because attempts have been made to understand personality as related to the inner workings of the brain, we can now map and ‘read’ the brain through advanced brain imaging technology, and the field is expanding every day.

There is value to understanding that there are different types of people in the world. At a more physical level, every person has specific behaviour tendencies, and although no two people are alike, these ‘tendencies’ can be grouped and analyzed within four separate quadrants for behaviour profiling. When we understand our own behavioural patterns (or tendencies), and what they actually ‘look’ like, then we can acquire some insight into what impact others will have on us – on our own feelings, thoughts and behaviour. We will also become more tolerant of others by understanding that not everyone is just like us, nor will everyone like or dislike exactly the same things. When we understand ‘who’ we are and the impact other behaviour types have on us, only then will we be able to understand the impact our behaviour has on others, and then learn to adjust our behaviour habits to bring the best out in all those around us.

The more we understand our own and other people’s behaviour, the more capable we are to use our skill of Positive Presence to create a positive outlook.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

A Leader’s Legacy

As a licenced affiliate and certified coach of The Frisina Group’s ‘Center for Influential Leadership’ I am honoured to present the following excerpt from their April 2019 guest newsletter from the Director of The Frisina Group, Robert W. Frisina:

A Leader’s Legacy

We can’t begin to think of having a legacy until we truly grasp the difference between leading and managing. While many of us can clearly explain the difference between the two, the fact is that many of us go about daily business simply managing things, without making the attempt to lead or influence others. In these uncertain times it is time to choose to resolve, if you have not already done so, to become an influential leader. Regardless of your status or titled position of authority, make the effort to be influential in the lives others around you in your workplace. Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” If you believe you were born to lead others, commit to doing it in an influential way.

The first step in any new direction is typically changing the way we think. The internal changes you can make to become an influential leader are self-examination, sincerity, and soliciting feedback. It is critical for you, as a leader, to be self-aware as it is the key to unlocking your leadership potential. So, what does it truly mean to be an influential leader in your workplace, and how do you accomplish that goal.

Simply stated, self-examination is the fastest route to becoming self-aware. Yet, a great many leaders do not take a look inside, possibly afraid of what they might discover. The irony is that these same leaders are masters at conducting root-cause analyses on the failures within their organizations. However, such examinations often do not lead to improvement or change in processes. They can diagnose failure or non-performance without being able to translate that diagnosis into a solution. Still other leaders choose to cope with organizational problems rather than evaluate and then solve them. Neither of these two options will improve your leadership influence or organizational performance.

What is true of organizations is also true of individuals. That truth is reason enough to signal a need for self-examination. Add to this fact the interpersonal conflicts or behavioural clashes that leaders face on a daily basis, and you have all the indicators that something is wrong and that “something” must be addressed. Do not mistake behavioural conflicts for personality or style issues, because they are different. Behaviour is a matter of choice, while personality is an inherent trait. Self-examination is the key to making the right behaviour choice to recognizing poor habits. It is the action predicated on the ability of being self-aware. Becoming self-aware is the starting point for becoming an influential leader. We cannot become influential until we become aware of the impact our behaviour has on others in our workplaces.

Start putting all these ideas into action and watch your workplace transform into the thriving productive place you have always wanted it to be. Leadership is about performance improvement from the top to the bottom of the organization and performance is the only thing that matters. High level performance results from doing the right things at the right time. Your behaviour must change to meet these demands. The success of your organization depends on it and so does your legacy. That’s worth thinking about today.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Defending Against the Toxic Person

Our brain is an extremely powerful machine to which we hold the controls. Having ‘control’ requires a keen self-awareness into our emotional energy and our behaviour and thought habits. It takes anywhere from 14 days to 8 weeks to ‘re-wire’ our brain for a higher skill level . We ‘re-wire’ by continuous reading, writing and reciting of information for creating new thought and behaviour habits. This re-wiring occurs via the neuroplasticity of your brain.

Research has proven that the ‘brain-power’ needed for productivity and efficiency today will only occur when we are in a state of positive emotional electro-magnetic neuro-chemical energy. In other words, the emotional state needed for productivity, efficiency, and wellness, is the same emotional state that we are in when we are joyous and happy. The research shows in fact, that the greatest risk to productivity, to work relationships, and to overall wellness in today’s workplace, is negative energy.

In conjunction with your own self-awareness, comes the need to bring your awareness to the environment around you. To start, make a mental note of people and situations that trigger your negative feelings and thoughts. You may notice that the negative moods and thinking of a toxic person can be extremely pervasive and emotionally draining – the nervous energy, the anger at life and everyone in it, the sadness, complaints, clinginess, attention seeking, the gossips, the consistently negative viewpoint — these negative attitudes will suck the positive out of even the most up-beat and positive person!

For some, the best defense is to avoid the toxic people and/or situation, or at the very least to keep the encounter to a very minimum. But what if that is not an option? The first step is to consciously acknowledge that negativity is being sent your way. The next step is to consciously refuse to allow the negativity into your mind. You might even want to create a personal signal to remind yourself throughout the encounter to keep deflecting the negative conversation and energy that’s beaming at you. Your personal signal might be pulling a piece of your hair, or digging your thumbnail into your palm, or flicking your wrist, or tapping somewhere on your opposite hand…..whatever the signal, it will be your conscious reminder that you must ward off the negative.

The one thing nobody can take away from you is the way you choose to respond to what others say and do. Your personal signal that reminds you to ward off the negative is your cue to choose an appropriate attitude and response to protect your positive space. Here are some suggestions:
1. Make light of the conversation and change the topic to one of optimism.
2. Change the focus to one that is solution oriented. Ask questions like “So what can you do to change that?” “How’s that working for you….what could you do different?”
3. Provide a kind word and support if the situation warrants. “Are you ok?” “What can I do to help?”

It is important to keep in mind that life is a series of ups and downs. Acknowledge the negativity, never take it personal, and let it pass right through your consciousness. Concentrate on today, right this moment. Do not carry around things that happened yesterday or a week ago. Let go and move on and forgive yourself of any wrong doings of the past.

Consciously practice finding the positive and good in everyday interactions and in everything around you. Be thankful always in everything you do and for where you are at that moment … it could always be worse. The more time you spend in the positive, whether it’s time spent with highly positive people, or quiet moments of your own, the easier it will become for you to deflect the negative vibes that toxic people send out.

Acquiring the skill of Positive Presence is a slow and gentle process that begins with awareness. The more time we spend in the positive, the greater our capacity for achieving peak performance, for building and maintaining good relationships, and for experiencing good health.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Be the Leader People Want to Follow

In today’s professional world, people are craving effective leadership. Middle level managers and their team members are overburdened and uninspired by individuals holding titled positions of authority providing neither effective leadership nor effective management. The issue is not change resistance. Peter Senge said it well, “People do not resist change. They resist being changed.” Knowledge based workers desire true leadership that capitalizes on collaboration, communication, and connection to accomplish their work related to clear goals and objectives.

One of the strongest ways an influential leader can connect with others is by practicing the principle of followership. Followership is a leader’s willingness to listen to those for whom they are responsible. “Listening to me” is the highest rated attribute for an effective leader by direct reports. Effective listening creates a connection between the leader and the legitimate needs, wants, and desires of team members.

By paying attention to members of the team, through active listening, a leader gains insight and information to the factors that drive performance. Peter Drucker said, “Everybody writes books about leadership. Somebody ought to write a book about followership, because for every leader there are a thousand followers.” Although followership is an age-old concept and several books have been written about it, the concept is still a novelty to many in titled positions of authority.

People do not quit their jobs. They quit their leader – the boss. Ineffective leaders breed ineffective followers and performance and productivity suffer as a result. With a positive, emotional connection with your people you send a clear message that you are interested and invested in what your people experience on a daily basis. People in general do not follow just anyone or follow out of the goodness of their heart. They need good reasons—a motivation – to follow. You are responsible for giving them those reasons by understanding what they want and need to fulfill their work requirements and contribute to a mutual and beneficial meaningful purpose in their work.

During the downturn in the so-called bubble, many leaders have acquired what the professional literature is calling learned helplessness. Everything is negative, we have a “new normal” and the positive and optimistic qualities of leadership seem to be caught in this self-fulfilling prophecy of scarcity and mediocrity. As leaders infect this mindset into their teams, productivity and other performance factors wane. The team members get caught in a brain-funk – simply do whatever the leader says to keep their jobs and stay out of trouble with the boss.

The reality is that inwardly, people still want to make a difference at work. They want leaders who will give them control and emancipate them to do their jobs and solve problems at their level. For some of you this may seem like a radical idea –giving control away – and a deviation from the historical “top-down” driven approach to leadership. However, if you want to connect, if you desire to become an influential leader, you have to begin to change from the outdated and ineffective practices of the past that limit your leadership capacity.

Neuroscience research tells us that it is only through a positive emotional connection that people come together in a collaborative relationship. Positive emotional connections are driven by positive behaviour competencies underpinned with the skill of Positive Presence. As leaders we should be asking ourselves daily, is the behaviour I am engaging in drawing people towards me or away from me? Understanding the elements of what endears our team members to us is essential to understanding the great impact that connection has in driving performance in the workplace.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

The Science of Success and the Neuroplasticity of the Brain

In the last 10 years or so, a new field of neuroscience has mapped the mental zone that can literally change the brain to quiet an overly active stress response system and simultaneously pave the way for higher brain networks to perform at optimum. The more you function from this ‘higher’ mental zone, the less you stress, and the more your brain lights up with the mix of intelligence that predicts a successful life.

When these higher networks wire and fire together, humming away at the brain speed of a hundred million computer instructions per second, you not only succeed, you excel at every level of life: from career to family, from physical and emotional wellbeing to fully actualizing your talent and ability. It’s a brain generating the fluid and creative intelligence to achieve goals, along with the emotional and social intelligence to instill joy in your work, peace in your life, and harmony in your relationships. It’s also a brain generating the homeostasis that promotes health and longevity. The key to all of these positive outcomes is building the mindset that transcends stress.

The good news is neuroscience has identified a solution to stress that goes far beyond conventional stress management. This approach not only repairs the damage caused by overproduction of the stress hormones, but also generates the neurological conditions that stimulate the growth of new connections within the higher brain that expand brain capacity, making people smarter, more innovative, and emotionally intelligent. The solution lies in the power of your mental state to rewire your brain. Change your mind-set in specific ways and you can literally change brain structure to extinguish stress reactions and amplify higher brain function. The technical term for this change is neuroplasticity.

Here’s a list of the positive change neuroplasticity can produce:
• The usual networks that generate the brain’s executive functions grow larger and become more fully integrated with other neural networks. This means you increase your skillfulness at planning, decision-making, error correction, and troubleshooting. You build strong cognitive abilities and can think abstractly.
• Gamma wave activity is far better organized and coordinated, signaling the higher mental activity and heightened awareness found in peak performers.
• The right brain and the prefrontal cortex work together to elevate intuition and creative insight into practical innovation.
• Activity in the left prefrontal cortex, the seat of positive emotion, swamps activity in the right prefrontal cortex, the seat of negative emotion. This condition enables you to achieve a high level of emotional intelligence.
• There is greater activity in the center of the brain, especially the caudate and right insula, generating the social intelligence that sustains interpersonal resonance.
• Your physiology functions at optimum, securing a high level of health and energy.

Who in their right mind wouldn’t want a change like that? Who in corporate leadership wouldn’t want a work force operating at that level of brain function? The point is, if an individual or company is not actualizing the mindset that transcends stress to empower higher brain function, they are not maximizing their full extent of fluid, creative, emotional, and social intelligence. The skill of Positive Presence is your ability to create and adjust a positive and energized mind-set (higher brain function) through conscious thought processes that result in effective workplace behaviour – the kind of behaviour needed for sustainable engagement.

Achieving the prescribed shift in mindset is easier than you might imagine, adding little to your to-do list. It’s essentially about practicing a to-be list… even better is the fact that change in brain structure happens quickly, within fourteen days to eight weeks.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Build Your Best Workplace Now

How often do we ask ourselves, “How do I create the best possible workplace where people wake up in the middle of the night disappointed it is not time to go to work yet?”… Now that you have finished laughing consider the ramifications of the question. For most of us the answer starts with environmental satisfiers – the tangibles. The actual answer lies with motivators – the intangibles – specifically, individual leader behaviour, the level of individual engagement, and the ability of people to manage stress, frustration, and conflict in the workplace. As Dr. Henry Cloud has reflected, leaders are ridiculously in charge. The results they get from the people on their teams is exactly what they create or allow. Once we embrace that idea, we can start to tackle the tough issues that are preventing leaders from creating lasting performance and success in their organizations.

One of the greatest hurdles to success in the workplace is dysfunctional employees. The sad fact for whatever reason, every work office has someone or a group of individuals that hamper the productivity of your workplace environments. Try as we may, even the best screening procedures don’t catch the people that will be disruptive, and we often don’t see this behaviour until after we hire them. Here is a great adage to remember – hire to value not to technical skill. Be slow to hire and fast to fire.

The sad fact about chronically disruptive people is that they are rarely coachable or teachable. Human behaviour research shows us that functional environments will become dysfunctional as a result of disruptive employees. Rarely if ever does the opposite occur. This is because functional people, in an attempt to be the rational individuals they are, will placate the behaviour of dysfunctional individuals to try and create a sense of peace or unity. Dysfunctional people rarely if ever change on their own accord because they don’t think anything is wrong with them or their behaviour and they thrive on their power for disruption. They lack the essential skills of self-awareness, self-management and collaboration that prevent them from changing on their own.

Sadly, if you try to challenge their status quo, they will erupt—especially when you decide to create a culture of accountability. The single best tactic is to remove them from the work place or to pressure them into a choice: change or leave. The inability to directly deal with their disruptive behaviour will be a major obstacle in preventing you from creating the best workplace possible. The longer you retain an individual who is not coachable or teachable in behaviour skill, the longer you allow them to undermine the technical skill performance of their team members. You get what you create or what you allow in performance of your team members. You allow a proverbial “jerk at work” to mess with the brains of their team members and they will mess with performance too.

Don’t misunderstand this point – the ability of performance coaching and development to achieve optimal performance outcomes is indisputable. Providing resources and training to people with the right attitude will help them learn and grow, allowing them to be highly productive. But we spend far too much time trying to coach the negative attitudes of problem employees than we do with those employees who want to improve their skills, who desire to contribute to the greater good of the organization, but who simply lack the requisite skill or knowledge to do so effectively.

Virtually all the advice on getting people to engage in their work and increase their productivity is predicated on a false assumption, namely that any form of outside influence will result in lasting internal change, stimulating pride, purpose, motivation and a positive attitude. Unlike animals, human beings have the power to choose inappropriate behaviour and substandard performance, and willfully do so, even in the face of overwhelming negative consequences. Consequently, the current model for how to manage these employees is ineffective. We need to focus our leadership energy on the high- and mid-level performers rather than investing ourselves in those who are choosing substandard attitudes and behaviours.

We would like to believe that the individuals we hire already have an understanding of the values and ethics required to be successful in our workplaces. Unfortunately, some people are working only for their paycheck regardless of their capability to perform tasks to standards and regardless of their pitiful attitude and toxic behaviour toward others.

I love the quotation from Ghandi, “be the change you want to see in the world.” I absolutely believe leaders must lead by example, in their own behaviour, to create monumental impact and culture change. However, it works with rational, functional, productive employees. Dysfunction only breeds further dysfunction. Toxic employees who never desire to alter unproductive and harmful behaviour lack the ability and desire to change. Even under the best leaders and best circumstances.

If you think for a minute that you have a responsibility to rehabilitate these people, or that recruiting and training a new hire to replace them will be too costly, you are wrong. Unless you have a willingness to hold them accountable for their dysfunctional behaviour, they will remain in your organization far too long, requiring hours of documentation for your human resources department and labor attorney. Eventually, when you are compelled to fire these people, you very well may still face a lawsuit because you have given them time to build an employment history they will use against you in court.

No amount of encouragement, incentive, coaching, counseling, positive reinforcement, discipline, or “how-positive-I-am-in-my-belief” that they can change has any impact on these people. Until they choose to become a different person, a more positive person, a more caring person, a less selfish person, a less bitter person, a less angry person, a less “the world owes me” kind of person, we are left with little choice but to remove them from our organizations as quickly as possible. When we do, teamwork will improve within and across department lines. There will be an immediate release of creativity and prudent risk taking and innovation to improve processes and drive performance to higher levels.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

The Relevance of a Positive Mindset in Today’s Work Environment

Enormous advances over the last decade in neuro-imaging technology have awakened us to the benefits of positive energy – for an increased capacity for achieving peak performance, for building and maintaining good relationships, and for experiencing good health. The bottom line is – for all of these things we need a positive mindset.

But why, you may be asking, is it so important now and not so much in the past? What is it about today’s work-world that makes it so much more important now than ever before in business history?

The reason is, we have left the days of the industrial and technological revolutions behind us – where productivity and efficiency was almost totally dependent on process efficiencies of getting the job done. In today’s knowledge-based society, organizations are more and more made up primarily of knowledge workers (those whose jobs require formal and/or advanced education and are considered people who “think for a living.”), bringing their individual specialisms together for a common purpose.

According to Peter Drucker, whose ground-breaking work turned modern management theory into a discipline, the best example of a predominant knowledge workforce is that of the modern day hospital in all developed countries of the world. In these organizations characterized by extreme levels of complexity, ambiguity and constant change, success is often made even more challenging by public sector bureaucracy, as well as fiscal and demographic pressures.

To quote from Peter Drucker in his book “Managing in the Next Society” (page 124), “… A knowledge based workforce is qualitatively different … survival, of every business will depend on the performance of its knowledge workforce. …the only way an organization in a knowledge-based economy and society can excel is through getting more out of the same kind of people; that is, through managing its knowledge workers for greater productivity. It is, to repeat an old saying, ‘to make ordinary people do extraordinary things.’”

The global workforce has changed employment patterns in all developed countries for ever. Workforces of knowledge workers are becoming more and more the norm. The demands to perform at a continuously high level of excellence amid the pressures of increased complexity, ambiguity and rate of speed, can be overwhelmingly taxing on even those people that are innately equipped to create a positive and energized mindset in spite of the environment within which they live and work. Not only that, as we move from the Knowledge Era to the era of what is being referred to by some as the Digital Era, or Industry 4.0, the understanding of, and ability for, human connectedness becomes increasingly important.

Scientific evidence is showing that when we are in a positive flow of energy we are experiencing positive thoughts and feelings …. And it is then that we are able to really connect and mesh within our self, and with others. When our mindset is in a positive energized state is when we are most able to work collaboratively together with others. Also, it is a known fact that the more time we spend in a positive energy flow, the greater our capacity for achieving the focus and clarity needed for peak performance, for achieving the love and tolerance needed for building and maintaining good relationships, for achieving the peace and joy needed for experiencing good health.

Leaders must be both knowledgeable and skilled in the ability to help their workforces consistently maintain a positive and energized mindset. The skill of Positive Presence is a critical requirement in today’s work environment.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized