People Smartz

One Important Key To Managing People

Tony Perkins - Friday, August 28, 2009

Over the last couple of days I have been assisting a business owner with a problem that had happened with one of his team members. Now I will not be going into detail about the situation, that would be breaking confidentiality - but I will share one thing that occurred to me while I was with them.

Many years ago, I read (and attended a course on)  Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  One of the seven habits was "First seek to understand and then be understood". 

Well, this situation would probably have been helped if both sides had taken the time to follow this habit!  I am not saying that either side was at fault, the truth is that if they had taken the time to understand what the other was saying, they would have found they were saying basically the same thing!  In other words they were disagreeing over something they agreed on!

Some sort of conflict can arise in any relationship - we all know that.  In business, when they occur and the business owner is involved they can take a momentum of their own if not handled promptly.  This was an example of one such occasion.

The first rule I explain to business owners in these situations is to keep their mouth shut and "listen".  This is followed by asking questions to ensure they understand what is going on in the mind of the team member and then act to correct the misunderstanding or incorrect performance.

This approach has the advantage of defusing situations, opening dialogue and giving team members the opportunity to feel they have been listened to.  It also gives the business owner (or manager) the ability to get their side understood in a more effective manner by helping them clear away the "noise".

It is an approach which is, in essence - "Seek first to understand and then be understood".  From my experience, I can tell you - it works!

People Smartz can assist you with your team, helping productivity and efficiency and introducing good "habits" to your organisation.  Contact us today to find out how we can help you and your team.



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