Posts Tagged ‘people side of business’

What People Need in the Work Environment

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Great managers and leaders understand that the brain works from the bottom up, and, consequently that people operate based on instinct and emotion, as well as rational thought.  The only sensible leadership strategy is to accept how people actually are and design systems that support them and maximize their healthy production.  So what do people actually need?

Acceptance, coupled with nurturance, allows people to feel emotionally safe and secure in the work environment.  People have a dreadful fear of rejection and abandonment.  It is simply instinctively wired into people that they are only okay when they are accepted and need not fear rejection.  In the workplace this is only partly about the money; it is more about their personal feelings related to the organization as translated through their manager.

When there is safety and security, people have a chance to function at their best.  Without it they are anxious, distracted, and not positively attached to the mission of the organization.  Providing a nurturing environment is the second key tool for the people side of business.

More about the how and why later.

Tom DeMaio, PhD


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

Solving People Problems in Your Organization

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

HerschDeMaio Associates is a people oriented consulting firm led by two psychologists. Lee Hersch and Tom DeMaio have been involved with the “people side of business” for more than 30 years. They have worked as consultants in service organizations, hospitals, government offices, academic institutions, courts, school systems and businesses. Both Lee and Tom have specialized in collaborative processes both in business and legal settings.