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The one concept that makes managing others super easy

Submitted by on Monday, 7 October 2013One Comment

‘I really hate managing people.’ One of our clients confessed to us recently. And it’s a sentiment shared by many professionals.

Some will see managing others as a necessary evil – an inevitable rite of passage for each of us as our careers advance.

Managing others was identified as one aspect of The Peter Principle syndrome. Put simply, the situation whereby professionals are promoted to the level of their incompetence. And then no further.

For those of you who are stuck in this ‘Peter Principle’ syndrome, we have good news for you – there is hope!

The ONE thing you need to know about managing people

Now we’re not going to dazzle you with some new-fangled NLP-style technique, or amaze you with some Harvardesque gobledigook. Instead, that hope comes in understanding what it is we are really trying to do when managing others.

You see, many management theorists start with a supposition – an ‘a priori’ belief which holds that managing others is mostly about motivating them to do what they don’t want to do.

Those of you reading this who hate their jobs – or large parts of it – that supposition may make intuitive sense. But there are those, surprisingly perhaps, who love what they do – and understanding why they love what they do is where the hope lies.

Confucius said that ‘choose a job you love, and you won’t have to work another day in your life.’ Yet many people wonder how that is possible?

It all comes back to this central lie espoused by some management theorists – that work is a necessary drudgery, and that people need motivating – and those who have seen people who love their jobs will know this is a lie.

The one concept we need to know, then, is that if you can find out how to make your direct report love his or her job, you will not need to manage that person another day in your life!

The most effective managers, then, do not motivate, they liberate.

Chess not checkers

the one concept that makes managing others super easyManagement theorists also seem to love to generalise. They often refer to people as though they are checker pieces on a checker board, which move around in the same way, according to the same rules.

But, thanks to multi-decade research using MRI machines into brain patterns by task, the Johnson O’Connor Institute has discovered, empirically, that this is just not so.

Instead, what motivates one person at work, intrinsically, is very different from what motivates another. Instead of humans all moving to the same rules, similar to pieces in a game of checkers, instead they move to different rules, like pieces in a game of chess. The difference between ‘motivating’ people at work is not about technique then, but simply about connecting them to their talents.

What makes us ‘love our jobs’?

Money, environment, even colleagues and the boss himself are to greater or lesser degrees ‘hygiene factors’ at work. Want to know, then what gives you or I our mojo? It is about discovering your talents, or my talents, and connecting us up to them. Simple. Job done.

This explains why some people really do love jobs that others might hate. For example…

· auditing

· ‘high stress’ jobs like heart surgery or air traffic control. Or even (wait for it…)

· …managing others!

All these roles were identified by the research from the Johnson O’Connor Institute as being linked to our talents – and thus leading to job satisfaction and ‘flow’ at work.

Talent Factor

So all we really need to do as managers to motivate our staff, is to make sure we make this ‘talent-task’ connection in their roles. It’s that easy.

How to liberate your staff – and make managing others super easy

So if you’re interested in liberating your staff, and would like to identify the talent-task connection that will liberate them at work, then contact us about our talent assessment (the Highlands Ability Battery) developed from the research undertaken by the Johnson O’Connor Institute, that will give you the insight into doing just this.

Do this, and you will not have to hate managing another day in your life.

Please feel free to contact us for more details using the link below.


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