March 7, 2010

Management Win-Wins – Challenging Personal Perceptions

One of the biggest challenges for managers, is how they are able to shift their very personal view of their people.

Once that’s in hand, they then need to sway and influence the way their people see the world differently too, without intimidating or imposing on them.

We all take a position in the way we live our lives. It isn’t something that we consciously do, minute by minute, it’s how we evolve as we live through the experiences from our earliest days after our birth.

The things that happen to us day-by-day – every day of our lives – shape who we are. Within this we take positions that impact on our behaviors, in every moment, right now.

So, we all have a perspective on life that we show up with in the things we do. We do as managers; our customers do and we mustn’t forget that every single one of our employees has their own story too.

That presents us with a series of problems when we attempt to build relationships with our people:-

About Us

1. We have our own perceptions that shows up in our behaviors
2. We have our own perceptions which judge others
3. Our own behaviors (from our perceptions) cause others to amend their behaviors
4. This can lead to different and even more incorrect perceptions

About Them

1. They have their own perceptions of life and work that show up in their behaviors
2. Their own perceptions amend their behaviors away from what would be real
3. Their perceptions are used to judge others
4. Their own perceptions cause behaviors in them that cause you to adjust your behaviors

…and so on!

So that becomes a challenge when we create relationships with our employees, because we have perceptions about them that can, unless we are careful, be false. Perceptions potentially causing erroneous decisions that can affect our abilities to create win-win outcomes for both sides.

Our experiences lead us to make perceptions of our circumstances. When we’re with our people, they can be incorrectly judged because of times when we had similar experiences that we learned from. We then use that experience to be too quick off the mark as we use our perceptions to make decisions.

So it’s important when we work with our employees, that we make the effort to set aside perceptions that don’t come with actual proof, so that the relationships we build have the chance to develop and grow.

When we are able to set aside the often false perceptions we have of our people – even those we seem to get on well with – the opportunities that fall out of the relationships we have with them, have every chance of being the win-win that we want.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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February 15, 2010

Perception Makes The Difference

The iris reader in passport control was out of order at Heathrow this weekend.

When I remarked on it to an official there (with care, as I had been delayed long enough), he smiled and said, ‘Well, it’s usually working 99% of the time’.

Since I’d only recently joined this scheme, designed to more quickly get you through the queues at passport control, I was disappointed.

I then reflected that 1% out of order for them was 100% out of order for me.

It’s about perception. What seemed a small outage for the people at Heathrow was my total experience, so, noticeable and a big thing for me!

In the work we do as managers, there are many issues we engage in with our people.

By its very nature, our perspective is very different from theirs – and here’s where we have to be careful and learn to be good managers.

Our insights into what is very important to them must be given extra focus, because otherwise we will miss things that make the biggest differences to them, small though they might appear to us in our role.

And this is as inherent a part of our job if we want to make a decent fist of management.

Because, frankly, most managers don’t understand that being interested in what’s important to their people, is most likely to be of high value to the team and organizational performance.

Can you see where the 1% view needs to be from the 100% angle?

Filed under Blog, Customer Service, Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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