What are you Thinking?

General managing, strategic planning, relationship building and process improvement,,, I find myself thinking, not only of what is “being done” nor why “it is being done this way”, but WHAT are people thinking while doing this?

Everyone has a different reality. They have felt and experienced different things. I believe one of my strengths as a leader has not been to change people but to better understand what they are thinking when they are carrying out their work responsibilities.

When we look at the more infamous behaviours of those that are either ‘not’ productive and even worse, ‘counterproductive’, it’s essential that we understand what is motivating them. Insight to the behaviour, identifies the fuel that motivates that behaviour (good or bad, it is still producing something). We can often motivate from the least desirable situations by understanding what is lacking or deprived that fuels this less than desirable behaviour. I call it ‘survival behaviour’.

In a recruiting scenario, we often see so many companies ask for the competency, “team player”. What are they asking for really? Do they know what they need? I think each circumstance is different and this question needs to come with a scenario. The question is often posed as behavioural; Give me a time when you demonstrated the qualities of a team player? That question really sets a candidate up to potentially fail unless they know the intent of the interviewer or the need in the current work environment for which a particular competency is needed. Also, it begs to ask the question, what are the strengths and gaps within your current team dynamics? What skills are being brought to the table already, what are the challenges and what do you hope the team to achieve? I often think when a company asks this question, are they really asking if you can function in an environment that requires you to perhaps cope in disfunction that has not been addressed. In my mind, an effectively functioning team is a well maintained machine and invites anyone with varying skills to sit at the table. In my opinion, the leadership role for a team falls within the skill set of an integrator of management.

If you want success in your company, be sure to have leaders in place that take the time to understand the thinking behind employees’ behaviour and use that analysis to redirect energy and guide their team to collective efforts with a purpose.

An integrator who leads, can assess two opposing ideas such as corporate models or strategies in their mind at the same time, and following that, have the ability to bring these independent thoughts into a collective/collaborative outcome that is a better version/vision of either or both. This approach is much better than picking out one at the expense of the other.

By assessing and balancing diverse ideas, and constructively responding to the pressures of conflicting values or corporate direction, superb integrative thinkers can bring resolution from a tense circumstance to an innovative model of business with new ideas.

~ Roni-Sue Moran