A contract is only as good as the people signing it.
Totalitarians always want to make opposition a criminal offense. That’s because they’re garbage people who ultimately can only rule by force.
ME TOO, BROTHER, ME TOO: I’d like to live in boring times.
Little knowledge inside is dangerous : A team who feel valued and that their mental wellbeing is important to their managers, company are much more likely to perform better – a happy team really is a more productive one
“You’ve rolled out of bed at some point in your life to dark thoughts about dealing with someone at work that is making your life a living hell.” explains How to Deal With Weasels (AKA Weasel Management).
Sherly Sandberg, as the vice president of Google, made a mistake, that cost Google several million dollars. When she confessed the mistake to the co-founder, Larry Page, his response to it was — “I’m so glad you made this mistake,” he said. “Because I want to run a company where we are moving too quickly and doing too much, not being too cautious and doing too little. If we don’t have any of these mistakes, we’re just not taking enough risk.”
Dan Pink talks about the concept in his book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”. He says that there are three essential elements of motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Organizations and individuals have purpose. Employees often work for organizations because their purpose aligns with the organization’s. Organizations and individuals work together to master skills, which is the work that gets done every day.
It’s the third essential element that I believe is the most challenging – autonomy. This is what I refer to as self management. Employees need to have the autonomy to get things done. And it won’t happen by simply telling an employee that they’re autonomous.
Speaking of autonomous, Czech out Marcus Buckingham’s “Now Discover Your Strengths.” In the book, there is an opportunity to take an assessment that can help you define your personal strengths. It’s a great way to begin your path of self-discovery. You can also review any profiles or assessments you’ve taken in the past.
Understanding your most productive and least productive selves. While this is related to your strengths and weaknesses, it’s not the exact same thing. Individuals should know the conditions that create their most productive selves and their least productive selves. Ask yourself these two questions:
- Think about a time when you were your most productive. When you were getting lots of things accomplished and the quality of your work was fantastic. What was going on around you in terms of your work environment, your boss and coworkers, and your physical surroundings? You might want to include your personal life as well.
In the Dallas airport the other day I saw many tall, well-dressed, and impressive-looking men wearing large, immaculate Stetson cowboy hats. As I walked by one such hat-wearer, I noticed two middle-aged, sunburned men in faded blue jeans standing nearby. They eyed the same fellow, looked him up and down, and then one said quietly to the other, “Big hat, no cattle.”
Human resources management seems to be mostly good intentions and whistling in the dark or averting unionization. And the results of the 1970s suggest that we may not even be holding our own. The poor management of the work force in this country is damaging the nation and our standard of living. It is making us uncompetitive with the Japanese and some other Asians, the West Germans, the Swiss, and many others.
Contracts are designed to reinforce trust and reduce risk. Unfortunately, when they’re too detailed or rigid, or when they send mixed signals, they can exacerbate the very problems they’re supposed to prevent. At a time when trust is already in short supply, managers can’t afford to make these mistakes.
Good performance accountability is about having a positive conversation between manager and employee. A manager is a coach and communicator, not command and controller.”
START: One of the principles in adult learning is to tell people what’s in it for them (aka the WIIFM). It seems to me that this is the concept of START. Share with another person what you’d like for them to do and why you’d like for them to do it. Of course, the WIIFM can’t be “because I said so” or “otherwise you’ll be written up or fired”. That’s why it’s important to really think about the START topic. On some level, it’s easy to tell people what to do. The hard part is explaining why in a way that makes someone want to do it.
STOP: It might be tempting to lead the discussion with STOP, but I’m not so sure about that. It might put someone on the defensive. If you begin the conversation with START, hopefully the person will already understand what needs to STOP. For example, you can say to an employee “I’d like to see you submit your expense reports on Thursdays so you can get paid faster.” This implies that submitting them on whatever day they’re currently being submitted should STOP.
CONTINUE: To me, this is the topic where we can reinforce something that the employee already does well. Using the expense report example, maybe the employee does a great job with the detail and explanations. The conversation is only about the day the report is submitted. This is also an opportunity for employees to give managers some feedback about their role. Maybe something like, “You do a great job of approving my expense reports within 24-hours. Thanks!”
The goal of this conversation is to talk about what a person should START doing, what they should STOP doing, and what they should CONTINUE doing. It’s not about disciplinary action. This type of feedback happens all the time in organizations. Especially when policies or procedures change.
Also keep in mind – and I think this is the great part about using this method – that as one person talks about START/STOP/CONTINUE, the other person might have a related START/STOP/CONTINUE to add. For instance, if the manager asks an employee to start submitting expense reports on Thursdays, the employee might ask for the manager to stop asking for another report on the same day. Ultimately, both people negotiate and agree on the best START/STOP/CONTINUE for the situation.
Feedback is an essential communication tool. It involves two-way communication. Having a consistent way to deliver feedback can benefit everyone, which creates improvement. And that’s the goal.