Monday, January 7, 2013

How People Operate 101

Focus: Employee motivation, performance management, managing individuals

Audio Lesson –  Duration: 3 mins. 20 secs.
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How People Operate 101
Transcript - print now 
WC: 408
Read time: 1-2 mins.
I remember when I got a new car several years ago and it had many new gadgets and functions I was not familiar with. For the first time in my adult life, I actually pulled out an owner’s manual for a car. I needed to learn how to operate every aspect of this vehicle to experience its full potential.

You know that really is the same when it comes to managers and their teams. I wish that when someone was promoted to management, they received a book entitled – How People Operate 101. Because in reality, that’s what managers are doing - operating people in the context of a process to obtain an outcome that results in profit for a company.

Yet, the majority of newly promoted managers receive little to no training and are thrown out to fin for themselves…(kinda like those parents who want to teach their kids how to swim and just throw them in the water and say, “Now…swim!”)

Knowing how people operate: what makes them tick, how they are wired, what motivates them, what skills they possess and how to engage them is essential to the effectiveness of a manager. That effectiveness directly impacts the bottom line of a company and this is where there seems to be what I call – THE BIG DISCONNECT….the very thing that impacts the profits of a company is the very thing companies spend very little time and money investing in.

So for those of you managers, who already feeling the pain of resulting from a lack of knowledge in this area, here’s what I recommend. Step 1 in how people operate 101 is to use a temperament or personality profile. There are great tools on the market that are easy to use.   Theses profiles provide a very useful framework to understanding people in the ways I listed above.

Here are some recommended resources:
Dr. Keirsey – book: Please Understand Me
The DISC Profile
Tony Alessandra - book: People Smart
Both books can be obtained at Barnes & Noble, Amazon…etc.

I believe having a working intimated knowledge of a personality profile is essential to a manager’s knowledge base.
You know many people talk about diversity training in our work cultures. I believe that in that context the single most important diversity issue today is not necessarily race or ethnicity…it is personality differences, of which employees get the least amount of training. Managers, let’s start with you!

If you are accessing this lesson from the app - remember there is a free personality assessment tool under the Personality Tab.

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