So much has been written about effective management. Interestingly, one syndrome that receives very little attention is the natural effect of experience and /or promotion upon a manager's performance. We are all familiar with the adage ‘if it's working, don't fix it’ and this, regrettably blunts many organisations' desire to encourage its senior staff to adopt an alternative adage ‘even if it is working, with a bit more effort, it could work even better’.
White House Consulting encourages its clients to recognise the fundamental tenet amongst psychologists that changes in behaviour cannot be effected without first achieving a change in attitudes. We can demonstrate that managers at all levels of seniority can enjoy both adjusting their established behaviour patterns and the resulting experience of generating previously unattainable levels of performance.
The new skills that are learned to achieve this make a substantial and long lasting contribution to the performance and motivation of the individual staff involved. This also engenders a positive impact on the evolution of a corporate culture dedicated to the achievement of one of the most essential objectives of modern times – the consistent provision of a first quality customer experience.
All too often there is an assumption by managers that their progress to their present elevated level of responsibility is sufficient proof that their interaction with others is as skilful as it can get. Not so!
By learning to recognise personality types and understand their associated behaviour patterns, managers quickly learn to adjust the way they perform their role in order to match the preferred behaviours of their individual staff.
As a simple example of this, take the instance of a strong minded, very self-confident Managing Director. Willing to take quick decisions, he would often summon his Technical Director to a meeting at very short notice and ask for his new idea to save costs to be implemented immediately. As an individual who preferred to consider all angles before committing, the Technical Director would feel unprepared and his lack of enthusiasm was a serious disappointment to the Managing Director.
Indeed, the Managing Director saw the Technical Director's questions not only as demonstrating a lack of enthusiasm but also as being disloyal, unsupportive, even obstructive. The Technical Director worried about all the extra work involved in correcting the errors that would result from implementing only half thought-out schemes.
By examining and understanding his Technical Director's personality, the Managing Director concluded that by giving his Technical Director a couple of days' notice of his latest cost-saving ideas, the Technical Director would have time to research what was involved and devise an elegant solution. As a result, the Managing Director could now hold a brief meeting with an enthusiastic and relaxed Technical Director and the both of them could look forward to a trouble-free implementation. Thus two very different personalities can work in harmony and both be the beneficiaries.
There are numerous instances where basic psychology such as this can be applied and with dramatically positive outcomes it is remarkable that an innocent sentence designed to encourage a member of staff such as ‘Never mind, you didn't do that badly, I know you'll do a fine job next time’ will suit one common personality type very well whilst another equally common personality profile will be very much less than grateful for these words of apparent encouragement. This knowledge, this skill is now being taught as its long overlooked value is now being recognised as having a fundamental bearing on the effective application of almost everything else that a manager knows and needs to apply: it effects motivation, discipline, planning, cost control, negotiations, team-building and communications.
This is why White House Consulting is synonymous with the application of psychology for business success.