Posts Tagged ‘ Behavior ’

Communication Effectiveness – The Three-Level Exchange Process to Value-Based Action!

SERIES: Part Two of a Five-Part Article

World-class communication exchanges made easy in the work place. What could be easier?

As a leader, how the other party interprets your message is crucial for the exchange process to occur. Understanding the act of communicating to another person or groups in the work place and in which level of the communication exchange process you are residing is also important to word economy and communication breakdown avoidance.

If you were to have an out-of-body experience and observe yourself communicating with someone either significantly younger or significantly older than yourself, you would notice how your behavioral patterns change, without much pain or effort, to allow for a successful exchange. When one transitions into a communication exchange with someone in the same peer group, however, many of the exchange process breakdowns occur due to simple resistance or avoidance to what one just did effortlessly with the youth or elder.

So, what are these behaviors, and what are the three exchange process steps to value- based action on the part of the recipient in your communication exchanges?

1. RECEIPT/RECEIVED of the message itself is obviously necessary if the message being sent is to be processed and acted upon. Many times, managers and leaders merely craft a message with little regard for the actual recipients.  They send that message through the communication airwaves and assume it will be received and acted upon.

2. UNDERSTANDING of the communication signal being sent by the recipient is essential for the exchange process to evolve upward. Tailoring the message intent by using the appropriate words, syntax, tone, emphasis, imagery, stories, examples and statistics that the recipient can actually comprehend is essential at this second exchange level!

3. VALUE of that signal to that recipient causes action!

As a tactical leader, ensuring communication exchange success is dependent upon your ability to deploy the individual steps necessary to ensure each level is addressed thoroughly!

Here are several immediate application techniques to ensure each step is addressed as thoroughly as necessary and you don’t overkill any one level.

  1. RECEIVED – Ensuring that the signal is received dictates an awareness of any possible interference issues and objectively looking at the transmission of the communication exchange from a broader perspective.

Make sure you communicate at the right time and place. Be sensitive to what is happening in the other person’s environment, and ask for verification that it has been receive. Also inquire if they would like the signal delivered in a different format than how you are delivering it at that present moment. The objective is to do something to ensure that if you are taking the time to send a message, it is, in fact, being received. If you d o not receive any immediate feedback confirming a message’s receipt, assume the responsibility to follow up with them in the near future to solicit feedback and determine if it was received. If you receive feedback that the message has been received, cease the delivery activity and evolve upward to the second communication exchange level. Another tactical way to ensure a signal is being received – with minimal interference – would be to ask the recipient to repeat the message; this will ensure the message is correctly relayed. Give the signal a bounce back mechanism – an email return receipt, a phone call response or a postal receipt vehicle – to merely let you know level one has successfully been accomplished.

  1. UNDERSTOOD – Ensure that you adjust how the message is constructed so the recipient can understand and process its meaning. A lot of times, the core reason a person does not take action (Level Three, VALUE) in a communication exchange is due in large part to a breakdown at level two.

This is where one adjusts the jargon, slang, code words, phrases, vocal tones, speed, pitch and pace of the communication signal being delivered.  This allows for an accent that can break down understanding based upon the level of education, knowledge, training or experience the parties involved in the communication interaction have!

The use of PowerPoint, handouts, slides, signage, literature, business cards, notes, audio and anything else used to reinforce the understanding of the message must be used judiciously and concluded at the precise moment the recipient clues you into the fact that they understand. The danger of continuing can be the complete disconnect by the recipient to the sender in the communication exchange process!

  1. VALUE – When a signal has value, it motivates the recipient to take action. Your objective in crafting the signal is to build it from the other person’s vested interest level and perspective – the old “what’s in it for me” syndrome!

Motivating the recipient to take action is the net result of effectively crafting your message to evolve through the three levels. A person can sense value only when your message addresses two core needs: Pleasure or Pain. If they sense a better outcome, elevation in status or enrichment of any level, the “Pleasure” is implied, and the recipient will tend to sense a level of value and take action. Conversely, if your message communicates a worsening of lifestyle, status or position, “Pain” has been implied. If that reaches a level the recipient cannot tolerate, the action will again be taken.

The effective leader recognizes all of the nuances that tactically influence effective communication exchanges and strives to ensure he or she takes the necessary steps at each individual level to attain success with the intended recipient.

-Dr Jeff Magee
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Attitude – It Is 100 Percent Replicable With Your Team!

SERIES: Part Five of a Five-Part Article

If the foundation of human behavior performance management and improvement rests on the psychology that one’s mindset (thoughts) dictates the behavior one exhibits, an effective leader recognizes daily the tactical actions that can reinforce positive behavior or influence negative behavior.

The code for mindset, thoughts and mental energy is ATTITUDE. Therefore, it would be valuable for a tactical leader to recognize all of the actions that can promote and foster constructive behaviors in those around them.

As an effective leader today, there are eight elementary tactics for encouraging positive ATTITUDE and holding individuals accountable to positive actions. Consider:

A = Always ASK those on your team questions about involvement and the best practices for every endeavor. By involving them early and often, a sense of inclusion will be created, and powerful working relationships will develop as well.

T = TEACH others at all levels as much as you can, as often as you can. If done in a spirit of cross training, it will ensure maximum performance from every player on your team. And with this approach, others will be able to provide enhancement ideas to one another as well as hold one another accountable to performance standards and expectations!

T = TOLERATE others’ approaches to executing a task, when different from your approach. Individuals always embrace their action plans with greater enthusiasm and passion. Your benchmark should be whether the other person’s action plan is: Legal, Ethical and Cost Effective. If it is, let go. If any one of these specific perimeters is not, then speak only to that one perimeter as you coach them and encourage them to maintain a wealthy attitude for success.

I = INFORM your team as often and as thoroughly as possible about everything! Consistently, the number one threat to active implementation of initiatives by the front line is when they are left to guess the motives of the leader’s policies. The hidden “why” factor causes more implosion and missed spent energy than any other single force. Answer this question, and others will actively embrace you!

T = TERMINATE poor performance behaviors immediately. An effective leader recognizes that a bad attitude left unengaged (not challenged) is like a cancer. Early detection and early engagement can lead to early elimination. Left unchecked, negative actions and thoughts spread, becoming systemic and leading to visible implosions in performance behaviors.

U = UNDERSTANDING is a hallmark characteristic of a powerful leader today. This implies that that the leader has tactically interacted with others to gain an understanding of others’ values, core beliefs, desires from their employment and an overall general perspective as to how they think and feel. With this, increased awareness and a significantly better understanding of how others will respond to a given situation will be gained!

D = DELEGATE appropriately to those on your team to gain increased productivity. Also develop the platform of skills necessary from individuals to ensure their growth, development and success.

E = EMPOWER (Empowerment = Education + Access + Experience + Desire) others to greatness. Let go of cultural autocratic management and become a leader that others will want to follow!

The picture and numbers are very clear. Performance, whether good or bad, is directly tied to one’s ATTITUDE. As a leader, your tactics either reinforce the positive or encourage the negative. You make that decision.

-Dr Jeff Magee
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Attitude – Leading at 30,000 Feet & Avoiding Managing at 5,000 Feet Issues!

SERIES: Part Four of a Five-Part Article

An immediate clue you’re leading at the 30,000 feet level is where your attention is and remains. A clue that you are immersed in 5,000 feet issues is that you are off course as an organization.

Managers fly at the 5,000 feet level, but leaders must fly at the 30,000 feet level! Where should you be? Better yet, as a tactical leader in today’s marketplace, where must your organization have you to succeed?

Far too many major corporations find themselves in trouble today for one simple reason. They have placed 5,000 feet people in 30,000 feet positions. The momentum of the organization may carry them for a period of time, but if they are not capable of flying at the 30,000 feet level, they will eventually crash and burn!

One of the first indicators that an implosion is about to occur happens when people are placed into positions in which they functionally cannot perform. The first thing to go is one’s attitude, which directly impacts one’s behavior and treatment of those around them.

The needless victims of this crash are the people who make up an organization, and if a public traded firm, the shareholders as well.

A tactical leader, regardless of the place from which he or she operates, must understand the subtle nuances of 5,000 feet issues and 30,000 feet issues if they are to remain positively focused and create the proper attitude for others to follow suite.

First, the Analogy:

An airplane pilot knows that when departing and arriving they must be very focused and in total control of all plane operations, functions and actions in the area between the ground and 5,000 feet in the air. Thus, a high level of hands-on activity takes place. Most airplanes from 5,000 feet upward are on autopilot, meaning the actual pilot is not continuously involved in the total activity of managing and operating. Most pilots cruise in commercial aircraft at the 30,000 feet range, and at this level, you are able to assume more of a leadership role. You can see your horizon, destination, goals and overall big pictures, enabling you to make individual calculated course corrections to attain a successful arrival.

Second, the Application:

As a tactical leader, you must ensure your team is vested, empowered and held accountable to the 5,000 feet issues and basic operational activities that make your organization what it is. Examples of 5,000 feet actions are functioning tasks such as:

Implementing, educating and enforcing policies, procedures and rules
Facilitating basic business processes that are what you are and do
Interfacing with end users or customers
Front line activities and behind the scenes functions that reinforce each
Dealing with conflicts, confrontations, problem behaviors and counseling or disciplinary issues

When you as a leader have to come down from the 30,000 feet level, maintain a healthy perspective (attitude) in all of your interactions with others, as people will model what you telegraph to them. Also, stay focused because it is in the 5,000 feet issues that you can rally significant positive mental attitudes from the team that allow you the energy force necessary to be productive, be profitable and regain the 30,000 feet focus.

Examples of 30,000 feet actions are functioning tasks such as:

Planning, mission statement design, strategy sessions, ensuring that the values and integrity of the organization are maintained
Organizing big picture issues, advocates, personnel assets, etc.
Coordinating resources and personnel talent pools from which business functions will be drawn today and in the future (succession planning)
Building partnerships and alliances, forecasting market needs and maintaining course clarity for growth

A tactical leader must understand necessary interpersonal skills, how to work the people equations effectively at both levels and be committed to instant interactions, if necessary, to ensure maximum positive influence at each level. Therefore, when a tactical leader is not at the 30,000 feet level, they must ask, “Who is left at the destiny controls?”

Maintaining 30,000 feet control takes a powerfully focused, controlled and positive mindset (attitude). Ask yourself who you interact with, who you seek counsel from, who you collaborate with and who serves as your model. All of these are 30,000 feet tactical leader questions.

Making sure everyone is flying with you requires you to stay on top of the environmental matters that allow people to either soar or come down into the turbulence of 5,000 feet implosions and mundane functionality issues.

Dr Jeff Magee
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Change – Reducing Resistance & Gaining Buy-In With the Five W & One H Model!

SERIES: Part Two of a Four-Part Article

Before you post your next announcement, send mail or e-mail, leave a voicemail message or communicate directly with another person about your next policy change, new product or simply change an initiative, consider what the other party may be thinking under their breath.

Leaders who effectively administer change and create environments conducive to change advocates can defer to a simple “check list”. This list can be checked mentally, when preparing change issues for presentation, and physically, as a facilitating template for change.

Ensure that you appropriately address to each personality involved the following factors:

  1. Who. These factors call into action the four core decision-makers (financial, technical, user, advocate) and authority figures.
  2. What. These factors call into action the core immediate, medium and long-term goals, objectives and needs.
  3. When. These factors call into action the final deadline and any interval deadlines or commitments.
  4. Where. These factors deal with the geography, locale and environmental issues.
  5. Why. These factors deal with the reasoning, logic and importance of the “WHAT Factor”.
  6. How. These factors deal with the procedures, legalities, ethics, costs and ways in which something could be done or not done.

Any item not addressed may become the impetus behind others’ lack of attention, interest and commitment (BUY-IN) and the stimulus to passive-aggressive behaviors. It is these behaviors that may cause the implosion of an otherwise easily implemented change initiative!

Each of the Five W and One H factors serve as a reference point for a series of subsequent questions and checkpoints that can be drawn out of each. Your ability to hold yourself accountable for ensuring that each is referenced thoroughly in the planning stage will dramatically impact the level of excellence that comes out of the implementation stage!

I am reminded of a recent speaking experience I had at a Fortune 500 Leadership Institute. The theater was packed with engineers and mid-level managerial-leaders from around the World. While the audience feedback was explosive, I am sure I will not be invited back. I addressed why “their firm” is getting eaten in the marketplace – a subject with which the senior leaders were not impressed!

While there are presently tens of billions of dollars cashed and in the bank in escrow, with a competing company, for orders for a similar, sleeker, more cost effective commercial version of what they produce (which “they” do not produce) and tens of billions of dollars cashed and in the bank in escrow, with the competing company, for private consumer versions (which “they” do not produce), this company refuses to change. Even though it is reported that it will take the competing company years to produce and fulfill these orders, this client continues in its primary division – attempting to make and sell a product the market no longer can justify.

The market has CHANGED, and the power players don’t want to run the Five W and One H model, as they will learn they must evolve to remain viable. The student of market analysis and the managerial-leader will be able to watch another major firm implode if it does not embrace change.

Success in dealing with change, and even crafting the level of success
individuals may have, can be taken directly from an explosive statement from
ice hockey legend, Wayne Gretsky.
“I don’t skate to where the puck is, I skate to where the puck is going to be!”

Do you use a template to ensure your planning and implementation of change is successful? Do you have an easy system for stimulating critical thoughts and questions to ensure you anticipate change initiatives and meet them effectively? If not, consider this simple and easy Five W and One H model, compliments of the elementary school teacher from your past!

-Dr Jeff Magee
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Change – Three Power Steps for Resolving Anger at Change and Gaining Acceptance by All!

SERIES: Part Four of a Four-Part Article

Tempers flare, emotions erupt, behaviors become non-productive and workplace violence can transition from anger to hostility far too quickly when “change” shows its unwanted face in the business place today!

In a climate of competing business interests, social and political pressures, combined with a need for both short term and lasting productivity and profitability, leaders must evaluate their priorities, decisions and assess how to engage others for sustained success. Being able to maintain a fair balance and address constructively those derailers will be a future pathway to success.

“I think it’s time for corporations to move away from the focus on
shareholder value and toward corporate responsibility.
It’s too easy to say shareholders rule without considering the loss of
confidence and cynicism that results from a breach of fairness.”
– Hank McKinnell, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, October 2002
(as reported in Chief Executive Magazine, March 2003)

Confronting these continual challenges, engaging the forces that may possess the capacity for implosion and explosion is critical of effective. To address these potential change-associated business derailers, consider three powerful tactical engagement steps:

1. Acknowledge – the other person’s concerns over the change issue through sincere empathy statements and actions. Most people who resist change and demonstrate some degree of change resistance do so because they feel no one appreciates their position and no one will acknowledge or recognize them unless they act up in what you may perceive as unwanted behavior.

2. Ownership – by accepting the responsibility to engage the other person(s), listen to them, interact with them and involve them in the change dialogue. This shows the potential change resister that you are not abdicating responsibility or excusing the reason for the change to someone else, but that you are an active agent of the change issue. Directly address any concerns and directly participate in the change process.

3. Action – successful change that allows an organization to evolve and thrive is solely dependent upon someone being proactive from the stance of increasing productivity and focusing upon ways to either generate more revenue or save revenue!

As an effective managerial-leader today, your immediate behaviors and tactics will spell either success or stress for you and your team in the face of change.

To further enhance your effectiveness, examine what your “actions” are. Determine the best course of action necessary to create an environment conducive to increased change tolerance and eventual change acceptance by those you engage.

“Circumstances don’t just happen,
they happen because of the choices you make!”
– Damon Roberts, Coauthor
(ISBN #0-9718010-4-5/US $12.95)

While doing this, recognize your actions will be challenged by change resisters. Over time, however, you can cultivate their support if your approach to change involves:

  1. Patience in your demeanor with others and yourself.
  2. Persistence in your every action.
  3. Consistency in every action, every time and with every person.

By following these three powerful tactical engagement steps, you can counter, and possibly even eliminate, flaring tempers, erupting emotions, non-productive behaviors and workplace violence. These are all energy robbers and distract from the business of business – which is business.

-Dr Jeff Magee
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Change – Conditioning Change Success With the ABC Formula©!

SERIES: Part Three of a Four-Part Article

Determining the degree of change acceptance a person may have or the change resistance a person may demonstrate has a lot to do with how a managerial-leader sets the stage for engaging others.

Tactically, how you manage your behavior will, in turn, influence the behaviors of others that are necessary for stimulating change. And how you continue to reinforce these behaviors influences the level of change acceptance in others. This may be the difference between an effective managerial-leader and a truly successful managerial-leader!

To understand this conditioning process and how individuals actually influence the change process, consider the ABC Formula© as a mathematical formula for human behavior tactical engagement:


Activating Event(s) + Behavior (of recipient) = Consequence (outcome)

Putting change into motion would imply that something happens, or a stimulant appears (A), causing one to do or not do something (B) with that initial stimulant (A). It is the merging of these two forces (A+B) that causes the degree of the outcome (C)!

So, in the change process, if an individual does not like the “A” and engages it in a negative or non-accepting manner, “B”, the outcome as the “C” will never be as constructive, productive, profitable or positive as it had the capacity to become.

To create a change process more conducive to one’s own desires, one must recognize the desired change may be the result of a continuous series of consistent behaviors.

To eventually get an unchallenged change outcome from others, one should recognize that the “C”, which leaves you and becomes another person’s “A”, may have to evolve through the ABC Formula© several times before the subtle change actualizes with others’ and becomes a constructive new norm of business and behavior.

Some of your initial “Behaviors (B)” may be becoming more patient with others, becoming a better listener and inviting greater participation from those that would need to participate in the change process, thereby sending a new signal that, when it comes to change, you are willing to engage constructively and not challenge or derail initiatives.

Far too many times in change issues, everyone focuses disproportionate amounts of energy on the end point (C). This immediately causes everyone to take sides, defend their turf and challenge one another, thereby making change resistance fashionable and change acceptance a foreign experience!

Understanding the power of the ABC Formula© is experienced in the recent fiction story, SQUIRM TO LEARN© (ISBN #0-9718010-0/US $12.95). Set in the fictional towns of Squirmville and Squelchville with colorful characters such as Wanta, Stew and Sunny, the reader experiences the power of conditioning others to embrace and accept change as a positive opportunity and how learning is the catalyst to successful growth and change.

As a managerial-leader, determining the degree of change acceptance a person may have or the change resistance a person may demonstrate will be your catalyst to effecting change and determining whether your work environment will be one of squirming acceptance or squelching terrorism!

-Dr Jeff Magee
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