As advances in technology improve processes and operations, business leaders must still deal with the prevalent issue of human behavior, especially when it is problematic and recurring. Mark Ledden shares four key steps that can change the negative habits towards the positive.
While Kenning coaches do sometimes help our clients learn how to invent and adopt entirely new behavior patterns, we often are asked to help our clients bring behaviors they already exhibit in one context to a different context. As Ishan (name changed), an SVP I recently worked with, put it, “My boss, the CIO, tells me I need to be more assertive in steering committee meetings. I feel like I am actually pretty good at being engaged and even challenging with my peers and my teams, but I know what she is talking about. When I am dealing with our CEO and Board, I feel reluctant to jump in.”
When I asked what seemed like a pretty straightforward question, “So, why don’t you act the way you do with your peers with the executive team?,” Ishan’s answer was at once surprising and predictable: “I guess I don’t want to look foolish or embarrass myself. Speaking up feels risky.”
Rationally, Ishan already knew perfectly well that it was probably much more risky for him to maintain this two-mode split than to bring more of his “working with peers” style to senior team meetings, but he was legitimately unsure why doing so seemed so hard, or at least so unsafe. Clearly there was a sense-making challenge in play that would need to be addressed for him to achieve lasting, self-generative growth as a leader. At the same time, though, while a strictly behavioral approach might not be sufficient, Ishan did have a reasonably large and straightforward opportunity to simply act more like he already did in some places.
The fundamental process for bringing a part of yourself that you show in one context into another entails the same basic four-step process we recommend for trying on new behaviors to break unhelpful habits:
Key points include:
- Identifying triggers prospectively
- Noticing habitual behavior
- Having a clearly articulated alternative in your mind
Read the full article, Grip trip: Four steps for changing problematic behaviors, on KenningAssociates.com.
Shelli Baltman shares a post from an intern at her company that gives all team leaders, bosses, and managers insight into introverted employees and how to help them integrate.
As someone who’s always been the quiet person in the room, I never could have imagined that I would end up in an organization like The Idea Suite. An unconventional innovation agency teeming with energy, enthusiasm, and passion, we unlock the creative potential of people and businesses through innovation – which in a digital environment can be challenging, since that energy and enthusiasm needs to be transmitted through video calls rather than in person. For an introvert like me, joining this team has been a wild, challenging and ultimately extremely fulfilling ride.
So how have I managed to fit into a group of mostly extroverted, passionate, and energetic individuals you might ask? I’ve adopted a few tactics and made small changes that make it easier to leverage my introverted tendencies as strengths.
So here are 5 tools that helped me navigate a virtual environment as an introvert:
- 1 on 1 coffee chats.
I can sometimes disappear in large groups. I tend to stay quiet and even if I have something to add to the conversation, I always seem to miss the right moment to say it! To someone who identifies as an introvert, it always feels as though extroverted folks are just better at making conversation. But there’s a way around it! I’ve found that arranging 1 on 1 meetings with my colleagues and supervisors is incredibly helpful. Not only is it less intimidating to have a conversation when there is only one other person there, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to express any interesting ideas or opinions that I may not have had the chance or the courage to say in larger meetings or to ask questions that I might otherwise feel uncomfortable raising.
Key points include:
- Team player technique
- Quality communication
- Progressive growth
Read the full article, Navigating My Way through a Virtual Internship, on theideasuite.com.
Sean McCoy shares a concise post from his company blog that identifies six levers to influence behavior.
Our third article in a series about incentives. Incentives are powerful levers for business leaders to change behavior. Sadly, incentives are often under-utilized and mis-used tools.
Employee behaviors are a crucial element to every aspect of a business. In some regards, the only way to implement a CEO’s strategy is to change behaviors. If behaviors are not changing, plans are not being implemented, and strategic goals are not being achieved.
Executives have at their disposal a set of integrated, inextricable levers to influence employee behaviors to achieve operational, financial, and strategic objectives. The framework illustrated in Figure 1 captures major drivers of employee behavior. In our experience, we have seen this approach work in settings as diverse as Fortune 500 firms, start-ups, governments, sports teams, military units, and nonprofits.
Key points include:
- Learning and growth
Read the full article, The Levers to Influence Behaviour, on mccoyconsulting.com.