Archive for December 2017

The Holidays and Altruism – A Time For Some Direct Reports To Shine

December 15, 2017

According to a widely adopted behavior model developed by Dr. Eduard Spranger, we all have six common workplace motivators that inspire us to do what we do.  In order of national rank the motivators are: 

  1. Utilitarian: practical accomplishments, results and rewards for their investment of time, resources and energy.
  2. Social: opportunities to be of service to others and contribute to the progress and well-being of society.
  3. Theoretical: knowledge for knowledge’s sake, continuing education and intellectual growth.
  4. Individualistic: personal recognition, freedom, and control over their own destiny and others.
  5. Traditional: traditions inherent in social structure, rules, regulations and principles.
  6. Aesthetic: balance in their lives, creative self-expression, beauty and nature.

The challenge many leaders of “for profit” organizations face is the Social motivator is overly dominant for many of their direct reports (nationally it’s #2).  While this generally creates very unselfish team members who find great satisfaction in supporting others, it could negatively impact the bottom-line; much depends on the roles or scope of responsibility provided to these folks and their ability to find ways to otherwise satisfy this altruistic motivator.

By allowing direct reports an opportunity to represent the organization and fulfill that motivation in appropriate ways like contributing a holiday offering to some deserving organization on behalf of the team, or “adopting” a needy family, an important motivator to the individual is fulfilled and the organization gains credibility/respect for giving back to community.

Leaders who empower their altruistic direct reports to give back during the holiday season on behalf of the team experience success all year long.

Advertisements

Help Direct Reports To Become Better Thinkers

December 7, 2017

More and more leaders are realizing their competitive edge lies with their talent.  And with their talent, they realize the greatest opportunity for growth is to develop their critical thinking skills.

Leaders must first create a safe environment for people to make mistakes and to admit thinking errors.  If this isn’t accomplished, people may feel afraid of embarrassment, humiliation, and perhaps even loss of professional status.

Once people feel comfortable explaining their thinking process, the leader can coach them on their critical thinking.  The leader’s first impulse will be to correct the direct report, provide the proper solution, and move on.  Providing the solution and explaining the rationale rarely works to develop cognition.  The successful leader should ask questions to encourage the direct report to exercise that brain muscle and develop better critical thinking strength.  Some questions leaders may ask to coach for better critical thinking include:

  • “How did you come to that conclusion?”
  • “What are the facts that led you to that conclusion?”
  • “What other options have you considered?”
  • “What would happen next?”
  • “Have you considered your bias?”

Leaders who empower their direct reports to learn from mistakes develop them to become successful critical thinkers.