Archives for October 2009

Your Fingers

"Everybody’s behavior makes sense to them at the time," says Dr. Aubrey Daniels, founder of the consulting company bearing his name. We can remove the mystery and superstition for why people do the "crazy" things they do (translation: things we don’t agree with). It’s not voodoo. It’s the consequences. "I just don’t understand why he won’t pick up his clothes. I end up picking them up every day." The answer to the question is right there. You just read it. When we don’t approve of someone else’s actions, and wish we knew how to change those actions, all we have to do is ask, "What happens for that person when he or she does that action?" If she keeps doing the same action, we know that a positive reinforcer (from some source) is fueling her behavior, keeping it running and running, no matter how much we detest that behavior. When Mike’s daughter was nine, he gave her a laundry basket for her closet. "Put your dirty clothes in here, Shawn. The day before you want clean clothes, take your basket down to the laundry room." Downstairs they went for a lesson. Using her fingers, not his, he taught her, "Here’s how to run the washer." And later, "Now … Continue reading

Be a Great Boss In a Tough Economy

Can’t offer more money? Can’t guarantee job security? Can’t give promotions now? What can a boss do during a tough economy to show how she values people? 1.  Ask their opinions. Close mouth and listen. Take notes. You don’t have to use all the ideas. Just save them. This demonstrates to that person that you take his ideas seriously. And who knows? There may be a gem in there somewhere – later if not sooner. 2.  Keep your own complaints about the current situation to yourself. Vent to a trusted friend outside your organization or to a spouse or companion when you need to let off steam – not to your staff. 3.  Listen to your staff’s frustrations but minimize the time you both spend talking about conditions neither of you can control.  Once the problem has been stated, re-direct the conversation to the solution stage with a question like "What do you suggest?" or make a statement that gets the conversation onto today’s priorities. Whatever you listen to, you’ll get more of! 4.  Give frequent informal recognition for work that you value. "Good solution," "You saved our bacon!" and "Great preparation for that meeting" are quick and cheap ways to … Continue reading