A Foundation for Managing and Leading People
As a psychologist and business management consultant I see the need for a framework, for a set of guiding principles to understand people and guide my work with them. Managers and leaders need the same thing, not just a list of tools, tactics, and programs.
I find that too many businessmen and women forget the simple notion that people are (don’t be shocked now) just people. They are instinctive, quirky, emotional beings, who show up for work to earn a living and do a job. They are not necessarily rational beings who want to figure out how to do the best job possible for their organization or business. At HerschDeMaio we like to say that there is a myth to the notion of rational process.
Sound pessimistic? Not from my point of view. People are just what they are; they have a brain designed by evolution and they have experience that forms a personality. If you want to work with them you must have a system that takes into account the way they actually operate… not the way you would like them to be. When we approach people within the framework of how they actually are, we ACCEPT them. We need to build systems that utilize the unique beings that people are, rather than fight human nature.
Acceptance is not rocket science, but designing those systems that maximize human performance just might be. For managers, it’s not just a question of compensating for messy instinctive reactions and emotions so people can think clearly and perform well. You don’t want to do that. What you want to do is align passion and personality with the goals of the organization. Then you will have a powerful engine for success.
Next time I’ll say more about why this is true.
Tom DeMaio, PhD