Monday 29 September 2014

Breaking our perception barrier to work with people effectively…a necessity in People/Team Management – Experience the difference.

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Leaders are required to possess strong observation and judgment skills both in process and people. These skills in other words translate their viewpoint to form a perception. When skills like these are applied to a process, they discover new possibilities, opportunities that results in great process engineering /improvement ideas. This results in simply an effective and an easier way of doing things with systems/process. It is like a formula, the formula will never change even if you change the variables; irrespective of how many ever times you change the variables it always gives the same desired result. However, people end of it is slightly different and difficult to comprehend. We observe an individual’s shortcoming at work and his/her work related behavioral pattern in the past, to form a perception. We do this to assess how that individual will contribute when a new task is given, or how would he/she fits into a new role in his/her career progression. Although an individual’s skills and competencies are appropriate factors to a greater extent to make such a decision; we tend to involve our perception of that individual as a key deciding factor in the process. We do this because we are very confident of our opinion based on our observation/s of the person in the past. What we need to understand here, is that there is a difference between working with systems and people, based on our opinion. While our observation/judgment skills work great with systems/process giving out expected results always; it can’t be applied as a generic rule with people. The following could be few reasons as to why our perception/s; of an individual should not affect their current work situation/s and certainly not a key deciding factor in their future work opportunities:

·         People unlike systems/processes react differently when the variables in a situation are changed.
·         Our perception of the individual is based on their past events alone and by no means can be used as a prediction that he/she will not change for good, in the future.
·         At the end of the day it is our own perception, we could be wrong in how we perceive things concerning people.

The same goes for our personal relations as well; without breaking this perception barrier there is very little that can be achieved. Instead as a positive outcome of the perception formed, one could always discuss it with the person involved. There is no harm in communicating your opinion explaining him/her with past events/observations. However you should clearly point out to him/her that this notion may lead to identifying a certain behavioral pattern that describes his/her attitude. You will need to coach the person on overcoming this situation. Suggest steps that will be seen as a clear indication/s that the person is willing to change and is putting efforts towards it. As a good leader, one should always aim not to miss out on an opportunity to help people work on their flaws and learn. The team will appreciate your resolve to turn around things and make it a better place for one and all. This is undoubtedly a great way to build winning teams.

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