I am sorry to have been absent for so long. I have a new website and blog which I would like to invite you all to visit. I promise to keep it more up to date. Please go to www.eaglevisionteam.com and click on my blog there. EagleVision is a site that promises to help you unlock the gift of personality, the key to knowing how to make the best decisions for yourself and those who depend on you in your business and your family. Personality matters in everything and it is created uniquely in you to guide you on your unique best path. Look forward to connecting with you more often and soon.
Don't Ignore The Obvious
Your golf game is as unique as your personality. In the art and science of profiling, we know that individuals have very complex differences although we might share certain traits. We are as uniquely different as snowflakes, or golf swings. We could spend hours talking about our differences, which we often do, but our similarities provide the keys to making our best decisions and gaining mastery over our lives and our golf. Golf Philosophers are absolutely right about Golf reflecting Life and we don’t need to understand the hundreds of thousands of idiosyncrasies to get better at both if we just understand the very basic behavioral dynamics that confront us day-to-day.
There are essential primary motivational influences for each type of golfer but at the most basic level, there are two primary dimensions of traits that create the most frustration and aggravation for us every time we play golf. These dimensions affect everything we do, including our personal relationships, our work performance as well as our golf. They also impact our general approach to decision making and living strategies. They are simple, but they are amazingly influential. They are huge.
Just imagine playing a round of golf without any aggravation or frustration. A very superficial awareness of these dynamics will give you enough mastery over your own responses to move you well along to such a dream-like goal.
Dimension One: Patience vs Urgency
Think of a line with patience on one end and urgency on the other. One end being intense patience and one being intense urgency. Where are you on this line? Are you more patient, or more urgent? Are you moderate and somewhere near the center?
Patience ________________________________ Urgency
Patient Or Intense
Unhurried Or Impatient
Persistent Or Fast
Kind Or Restless
Consistent Or Change oriented
Cooperative Or a Doer
Warm Or Flexible
Amiable Or Quick thinker
Rhythmic Or Multi tasker
Steady Or Deadline oriented
Calm Or Action oriented
Mild Or Abrupt
Steady Or Easily bored
You may wonder what does this have to do with playing good golf. Whether you are on the PGA Tour, or playing with your favorite foursome, or in a corporate scramble, this has much to do with why you don’t do what you know you should do on the course.
Have you ever said, “I hate being behind a slow player?” or have you ever said, “I hate feeling like I am being rushed?” One of the most insidious things that happen in golf is the disruption in your normal pace of playing. Urgent people who have to wait, or patient people who have to speed up have the same result; anxiety or aggravation, which fuels a physiochemical change in the body which affects muscle tightness, heart rate, focus and golf thoughts. The immediate result is a bad or erratic golf shot, the first sign that something is affecting your normal, comfortable and “right” pace and tempo of play. Stress from the conflict over pace of play can cause you to slow way down and waggle over the ball 20 plus times like Sergio Garcia, if you are patient, or make you run up and putt without ever even thinking about the line or speed if you are urgent. You can swing too slow and you can swing too fast, for your optimal performance. Knowing your normal pace and how to maintain it regardless of what is happening around you is a key golf skill.
Dimension Two: Extroversion vs. Introversion
Once again, picture a line where extroversion is at one end and introversion on the other. Where are you?
Extroversion ______________________________________ Introversion
Outgoing Or Private
Light Hearted Or Earnest
Fluent Or Reserved
Fun-loving Or Contemplative
Humorous Or Serious
Optimistic Or Skeptical
Enthusiastic Or Quiet
Trusting Or Guarded
Promoter Or Thinker
What does this have to do with your golf game?
Extroverts are extremely Social in their golf. Fun is an essential component to playing well and to enjoying golf even among our best tour professionals. They need to talk, interact, tell stories and jokes. They are very externally aware and they sense the mood, and the “vibes” of those around them. It is hard for them to enjoy themselves unless others around them do too. They have a nature that is inherently motivational and inspirational.
Introverts are very contemplative and internally aware. They are most aware of how they are feeling, what is happening to them. They thrive on quiet, on the ability to think and analyze what they need and want to do, and to not feel pressured to socialize, or communicate about things unrelated to what they are doing.
The quieter and more withdrawn an introverted playing partner is, the more outgoing and outreaching the extrovert behaves. The more difficulty the introvert has, the more encouraging and enthusiastic the extrovert wants to be. The cycle intensifies until the introvert signals their discomfort which may cause the extrovert to “suppress” their normal behavior, to be quieter, more centered on the mood of the introvert. Naturally, you can’t be trying to suppress your behavior, figure out what to do to lighten the atmosphere and concentrate on good golf thoughts and strategy too. So, the introvert who has become distracted and irritated at the ebullience of the extrovert is dealing with the same physiochemical responses again that affects good shots, and the extrovert experiences the same because of trying to accommodate those around him or her. The mismatch of these traits creates a dissatisfying situation for both sides of the behavior spectrum and often they don’t even realize the subtle influences of a simple, yet different view of relationships and communication needs.
The conflict between the patience and urgency traits creates most of the misunderstanding in the workplace; it results in lack of trust and respect between people with opposite traits. A planful, organized, dependable and consistently patient personality sees an urgent, responsive, change-oriented, multi-project person as “dangerous” in that they don’t make a plan, stick to the plan and repeat the plan. The urgent person sees the patient one as someone who clogs the neck of the funnel, will not prioritize, and is resistant to change. So, trust and respect are difficult to maintain, simply due to a difference in the tempo and organization strategy of how we view things.
The conflict between the extrovert and the introvert creates most of the misunderstanding in personal and family relationships. An extrovert believes that trust comes from sharing feelings, experiences and innermost thoughts, in inspiring and motivating and always being enthusiastic and optimistic. The introvert believes in being selective of what they share, keeping their innermost thoughts to themselves, maintaining private space and contemplating before speaking. The extrovert might say, “If you really loved me, you would tell me your thoughts, fears, feelings.” And the introvert might answer, if you really loved me, you would leave me alone” and trust them to tell you when something is important but not to demand anything more.
The bad news is that BOTH of these dynamics can change the mood, the physical feeling of relaxed, smooth and even tempo, the most optimistic golf thoughts and the strongest focus on the game in seconds. When either or both of these conflicting dynamics meet on the course, mood and performance change instantly and knowing the signs and what to do to return to your best state immediately are as essential as the clubs in your bag.
These impact on the quality of everything you do including what happens in your business, your personal relationships, parenting and marriage. As you'll see, it has a very significant impact on the quality of your performance in golf and on the enjoyment to get from your golf.
What does GolfMindRx offer the professional golf instructor?
Things a golf instructor hates to hear:
I didn't have time to practice this week.
I spoke with my brother-in-law and he said his pro told him to do it this way.
I never played this badly before I took your lesson.
Our pro didn’t do us any good in the pro am.
I bought this new video and it is different than what you told me.
Will I be able to hit it like Tiger?
Things a golf client hates to hear:
Mr. Smith, you won't need your driver today, just bring a 7-iron.
You need to understand that you'll get a lot worse before you get better.
The first thing we have to do is change your grip.
It took a long time for you to get into these swing habits. And it's going to take a long time to change them.
How many golf balls did you hit on the range since our last lesson?
In working with hundreds of golf instructors, and clients, we know that golf instructors have preferences, too. There are just certain people that are more fun to teach and work with than others. Most golf instructors are proud of what they do and take their jobs seriously. The “professional” certification is a designation that requires years of training, discipline and hard work.
Golf clients come in all ages, shapes and sizes, and all kinds of temperaments. They also come to you with very different learning strategies. Most professional golf instructors realize that there are learning strategies that focus on visual, auditory and kinesthetic approaches. This means that some people learn best by watching, others by listening, and the rest by doing and feeling. While this is a good introduction to the differences in clients, it doesn't take into account that clients are also motivated to play by different things. Motivations (needs) play a very strong role in how a person learns to play golf and also how they react on the golf course.
People who don’t play golf assume that golfers play to relax, or to have fun. In a general survey you would get those answers from most people. In actuality, the spark for golfers is not all that simple. For example, fun means different things to different golfers. For some, fun is being with friends, or fun means winning the match. Fun could mean being away from stress and enjoying being outdoors. And it is fun for some to try out the latest technology or the newest method. What fun means affects how a golfer learns.
Pace of play is the number one source of frustration on the golf course. Slow players play slower when they feel rushed, and fast players play faster when they are forced to wait. Neither situation has a good outcome. Pace of play issues also indicate optimal learning strategies, and understanding the inherent “pace” of a client determines how much talking, for how long, and how many points should comprise the lesson for best results.
To put it simply, identifying the complexities of what fun and pace means to a client is the beginning of identifying whether a client is a Challenger, Social, Traditional or Technical golfer. That insight is the key to improving your relationships and your clients’ golf performance and enjoyment of the game.
What Golf Mind Rx can do for you:
Complimentary NeuroGolf Profile for the professional instructor who refers someone who takes the NeuroGolf Profile. *
Commission on any NeuroGolf Profiles referred by you. *
Discount for golf teams who take the NeuroGolf Profile.
Guidance for parents and junior golfers on significant motivational factors.
Training on reading the NeuroGolf Profile results of your clients and applications for your teaching strategies.
Direct telephone conversations regarding NeuroGolf results.
*Referral must be indicated at the time the profile is submitted.
Let us know if you would like to discuss how GolfMindRx can help build your business and your client relationships and performance.
Golf lessons ought to result in better golf. Unfortunately too many golf instructors are more like professors than results oriented professionals. Based on profiles of instructors, only about 10% are truly results oriented and 70-80% are professor-like. Think of a professor who stands in front of a class, semester after semester, year after year. On the 2nd Tuesday of the semester, he covers the same data as every previous semester. He may or may not know the names of his students, or whether they are in attendance or not. The students can get the information or not, they can pass or fail, but he delivers the same information the same way year after year. Many professors take little or no responsibility for the outcomes of their students as any college student can attest. It is rare to have a professor that is involved with the success of the student.
Many amateur golfers who have taken lessons for years from an instructor are disappointed in their results. But, the instructor often lets them accept total responsibility for the lack of improvement rather than search for ways to change the outcome. They teach the same way, day after day, year after year, with little discomfort regarding the lack of results. It is a rare instructor that seeks help from others, or admits his shortcomings for the improvement of the client. Maintaining the position of "expert" is more important than the improvement of the client.
The fact is that instructors are not created equal. Certifications and experience do not guarantee quality of instruction. To know if your instructor is right for you, answer these questions.
1). Do you improve after your lesson?
An instructor ought to be as interested in the result of the lesson as you are. If a doctor told you that you would get a lot worse before you got better, would you get another doctor? Same thing with an instructor. It is possible that the instructor is rooted into one way of teaching, and that way may not be appropriate for you. You ought to see improvement during that lesson and be able to duplicate the improvement in practice or play. Does the instructor take responsibility when you do not improve and adjust his teaching methods?
2). Does the instructor tell you you need a series of lessons before you begin?
Be suspicious of an instructor who makes you commit to a series when your swing flaw might be a simple adjustment that can be accomplished in one lesson. Identify your objective first. Define it for the instructor. Evaluate how the instructor views that objective. Is the instructor more interested in ongoing income, or in your results?
3). Does the instructor incorporate evaluation of your golf clubs and how they affect your swing? Does he truly understand how the fit of the club affects your golf?
Question whether your pro really understands the affect of your clubs? Does he look at the ball impact on the club faces to make sure they are the right size, weight, etc.? If not, make sure you go to an experienced club fitter to evaluate your clubs and make any helpful adjustments.
4). Does the instructor change teaching methods based on your physical ability, body type, experience, level of play, or does he/she teach everyone the same way?
Many instructors teach the way they were taught and do not adapt to the learning differences, or ability differences of their clients. They ought to be able to teach the way you learn best. If you want to hit the driver, the instructor ought to be able to improve your skill with the driver rather than confine you to his traditional process. Is the instructor better at teaching men, for example, than women or older clients. Is he knowledgeable about benefits of different kinds of equipment, fitness processes, etc that might be appropriate?
5). How long have you taken lessons without improving?
If you have been taking lessons for a significant period of time without lowering your handicap by significant strokes, what is your instructor's attitude? Does your instructor make you feel guilty if you seek assistance elsewhere? Does your instructor blame your lack of improvement on your lack of practice or other behaviors on your part? Does your instructor seem interested in finding something that works for you or is he/she indifferent to your results? The best instructors will seek help from others or will try different methods to find solutions for you. They take it personally when their clients do not improve.
A golf writer once asked me how I know a golf instructor is good. I answered because the students and clients get better. Find an instructor who can and will demonstrate expertise by helping you define appropriate goals and help you achieve them. To find out your best learning strategies and how to match those to an instructor, go to www.GolfMindRx.com.
Customer Service – Nice is Not Enough
President, PDP Services, Inc.
Nice is not enough. Can we just finally say it. Can we finally just acknowledge that “nice” doesn’t build performance, loyalty or respect.
Is there anything more annoying that calling a customer service person, a really nice customer service person, and spending hours trying to get some resolution with nothing in return but apologies, niceness, excuses and putoffs.
Or to hear, “I am just a customer service person” after 30 minutes when she finally has met the screening criteria to pass you to a technical support person who would rather be infected by the king of all viruses than speak with a customer?
Can’t we just get to a manager who cares about results instead of how to calm down an irate customer. I have almost never been irate when I encounter a problem until I get into the customer service process. I don’t know how I have survived some of those.
Customer Service is the most mis-named function in business. It is so far removed from what it was originally intended to be. Try calling a cable company, or your cellular telephone provider and see if you can figure out what customer service is.
How in the world did we get to this point? As in everything else, people sincerely want to do a good job, contribute something of value, be valued. Once again, intentions are not the issues, but the problem evolves into trying to force the square peg into the round hole.
If companies would do simple profiles on their customer service applicants and current employees, they would quickly see that the majority of problems created have a direct link to the people they put into the positions. Instead of selecting people who are ideally suited to the job, they select people and then try to fit the job around the people. After surveying hundreds of customer service people, it is apparent that the successful ones share significant behavioral traits and that the problematic ones share others that are just as predictive.
If every business owner took a few minutes to make an anonymous call to their customer service department, or their receptionist, to experience the reality of what the customer faces, customer service would be viewed in a very different context. There are ideal traits for dealing with customers and the people who have those thrive in the position and so does the company when they are positioned correctly. Taking the time to identify these people is worth every minute in new and retained business. With profiling, this can be accomplished in minutes and for less than typical drug and credit checks. There really is no excuse not to find the best to deal with your customers.
Why Profiling Works – Ignoring the Obvious 2.
By Jennifer Munro
President, EagleVision Performance Solutions
I wish I could say that I have not ignored the obvious in my life, but of course, I have far too many examples of where I did just that. From unfortunate marriages, to scary partnerships, disappointing relationships, poor purchasing and business decisions, I have had my share of “ignorance.” But one thing I did notice throughout my adventures in ignoring the obvious was that it was always a choice; a bad choice but a choice nevertheless. Looking back, and even at that time, I “knew” in my heart, or gut, when I was looking at all kinds of information to the contrary, that I was going against what was obvious, right in front of me. Fortunately and happily, I have taken that road less and less to good results.
There were “reasons” for my ignoring my “sense” of doom and disappointment though because I also possess, in addition to good instincts, a strong sense of wanting to please others. Those two seemingly unrelated behaviors come from the same trait. As you will see throughout, all traits present the proverbial good and bad two edges of the sword, or two sides of things. People who are sensitive to what others need and want by definition have good instincts, but they also want to please. Sometimes pleasing others leads to ignoring instincts.
In college, if a boy “touched” me somewhere he shouldn’t, and I reacted negatively to that, he would, of course, tell me “it was an accident,” or I “imagined it”, or that I was “overreacting and that he meant nothing by it.” So, “knowing” what his intention was instinctively, yet wanting to save his ego and let him know I trusted and believed in him, I might subdue my instincts to where they were suspect to me. You do that for a while under enough circumstances, and it becomes easier to rely on what people tell you and to distrust what you “know.”
For example, when parents question their children’s truthfulness in opposition to what an adult is telling them about the same incident, often because authority usually defers to an adult over a child, that causes children to doubt their own instincts. When people dismiss another’s feelings, fears, perceptions as being less than they are, doubt also attaches to self-perception and self-worth.
There are times when facing the obvious is very difficult and unpopular. When 1,000,000 people have a bad idea, it is difficult to tell them that it is a bad idea. If you go along with it, it is bad for all of them and for you. If you don’t, you go alone. It is my experience that going it alone in the long term will make you happier.
Ignoring the Obvious – Why Profiling Works
By Jennifer Munro
I became one of the very few women in the retainer based executive search business in the l970s. There were many women in the industry, but not acting as actual search consultants. I was one of the first four to own my own firm. I was given the opportunity by successful search partners initially because I delivered exceptionally compatible candidates to the search process and the search consultants felt that I made their jobs much easier. Once I started my own firm, I continued to have success in each and every search assignment that I obtained, often against strong competition from the major firms of that era that defined forever the difference between authentic search and placement or recruiting firms. We were true “headhunters” in the sense of the term coined at that time; we specialized in identifying the best and brightest executives and leaders and attracting them to our clients for very generous retainer fees. “Headhunter” today has a totally changed meaning often being used by contingency and placement firms and forever confusing the marketplace and reducing opportunities for the sheer excitement and achievement of the true hunt to match up the best performers with the best companies.
I confess I was always just thrilled with my success in that business because I heard incessantly all the reasons I should not have been given the opportunity, or should not have been successful. I didn’t have 20 years of management experience, nor technical or manufacturing experience, and I really only had a degree in Philosophy, as a member of the great Gator Nation at the U. of Florida, and some kind of instinct about why people succeeded, matched, performed or didn’t. I did have 4 years as a Pan American stewardess and purser, lots of dancing in my background, good office skills which my mother insisted upon during high school so I could “always support myself”, but nothing that would indicate brilliant, multi-degreed, stellar performers and captains of industry would listen to me regarding their companies, their people and their strategies.
Twenty years after I opened my firm, my mother visited her home town in Tennessee with me for the first time since her childhood while I attended to business with two different companies in that town. She went to dinner with both presidents on successive nights and on the way out of town, she said “Sugie, (southern nickname), I just could not get over those important men asking you all of those questions and hanging on your every word.” This was not surprising to me because for 20 years she had been lamenting that she wished I would get a “real” job which meant something that didn’t require me to be on an airplane several times a week.
I told her that I had never gotten over it either! In truth, I have always been thankful and joyful at the place and access my exceptional clients have given me in their marvelous organizations and always have been mindful of their trust, support and how colorful and rich my experiences with them have made my life. As any good life should be, I learned and gained far more from those experiences than they could have possibly have gotten from me.
It was the drive to always deliver what I promised and what they needed that lead me to the most important discoveries of my life. Hundreds of the people with whom I have worked over the now 25 years, tell me that this discovery was equally important to them as well. But, 25 years later, I continue to be incredulous at how much effort and how many obstacles are created out of thin air to keep everyone from making the same discovery.
I am speaking about the art AND science of behavioral temperaments and personal traits; I was motivated to find a way to quantify what I observed in people who performed well and those who didn’t. The more I competed with the more established search firms, the more the question was asked, “what do you base your selections on, it is just a “feeling” and instinct, or do you have something you can measure?” I did notice they didn’t seem to ask the establishment in the search industry the same thing. But knowing I was bucking the system and would have to come up with something else than just my nerve and instinct, and knowing I could observe these differences, I searched for the best measurement of this potential. That search changed my life, and I spend many happy moments just enjoying all of the benefits that have come from my knowledge of why people do what they do and what they need to do well in their work, their families, their relationships and their sports and pastimes.
I have been involved with people and performance for more than 3 decades, and at the beginning of my consulting career, there was a scary statistic that 75% to 80% of all employees were dissatisfied with their jobs. I was stunned at that back then because I could not imagine going somewhere every day that you didn’t want to be. In December of 2006, Kiplinger reported that 75% of employees surveyed at the end of the year planned to find a new job in 2007. So, after all of the money, effort, time and psychic energy spent on management gurus, perks, training, motivation, empowerment, quality and the like, we have not come very far. I wish I could say I was stunned by this, or surprised, but I was never in doubt that this would be the case.
Most expensive and time consuming programs that enter our institutions, our companies and our homes rely on our stubborn refusal to deal with the obvious. Who we are determines what we like to do, what we do well, whom we enjoy, how we vote and how we parent. Observable behavior tells us how that is going; how well we are matching ourselves to our environment and gives all the signals we need. The development of a Human Resources empire has had a terrible effect on our human resources; and all of their certificates, programs, legislation, intimidation have nailed one foot down in business while the other runs in continual circles and cycles and still has a negative pall on 75% of the workforce. This has immeasurable downside effects in the families, production, quality and performance through ever layer of our culture. The latest assault has come through the guise of diversity training and laws ignoring at every turn the fact that organizations and families of homogeneous composition suffer the very same conflicts, interactions, emotions and behaviors as the most heterogeneous.
I firmly testify that those who become knowledgeable and comfortable with the insights of accurate and objective behavioral profiling make better decisions for themselves and others, enjoy the peace of mind that comes from the ability to build and retain meaningful and sincere relationships and spend far less time in conflicts and negative emotions generated by ignoring these principles. I have joked for years that once this knowledge is learned, the recipient has a choice to use it for good or not; obviously, a motivated person will consider more pointedly the viewpoint of another as they do their own and make decisions on the outcome they would like to see. When asked why I didn’t always use my insights to extend the relationship with an ex husband, for example, I laughingly answered “because I didn’t like them well enough at that point to make the effort.” So, profiling is not a magic potion, but it is a powerful tool to create the outcomes and environment one desires. Nothing worthwhile comes with no effort, but this site will identify many examples of when the effort actually delivers the desired outcomes in stark contrast to those “established” and “accepted” programs that have not and will not.
Is HR the Enemy in Your Camp?
By Jennifer Munro
CEO’s and Senior Management are not having the fun they thought they would upon attainment of these decisive and influential positions.
The trouble may not be the competition, the market, the economy or even ever-growing regulatory requirements. It may be coming from within.
There is a growing threat to the health of American companies; it is elusive and not easy to understand. It appears in the most gracious, ostensibly nurturing and peaceful of disguises - the Human Resources department and its “professionals.” Even though HR professionals may hold titles or positions of leadership, their motivations and interests may be obstacles to your goals and your vision for your company and may de-motivate some of your most valued employees.
The fact that membership in SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) and the number of law suits litigated by employees against their companies have both more than doubled since the 90’s is not a coincidence. Nor is it just a coincidence that the number of HR positions has increased by more than 35% in the last 10 years while most other corporate positions have been downsized in that same time period.
So, you may ask, since we have had this growth in “human resources”, why do we have so many more employee lawsuits? Why has this growth in HR departments been accompanied by a decrease rather than an increase in employee satisfaction? The Department of Labor has been reporting for decades that 7 out of 10 people are dissatisfied with their jobs, supervisors and companies to some degree; but in the l990s, the HR Era, that percentage grew to 8 out of 10. One out of 4 employees feels threatened at work, and says that the possibility of violence is a real concern. Morale, turnover and performance are not improving, and the only place where real progress and growth appear may be in the revenues of labor attorneys. Other beneficiaries of this depressing scenario are the “gurus” who prey on the HR professional. These special interest consultants are more divisive than helpful and more concerned with turning your company into a social worker’s paradise of political correctness and non-confrontational avoidance of resolution than with building a viable company in which employees really flourish.
I see many company leaders shake their heads in dismay and confusion about human resources. A lot of money has been invested in these departments with little or no results. We can’t say precisely what the results may be because HR is the one area of the company that shuns any attempt at accountability or measurable outcomes. So, with a vague sense of hope that something might eventually come out of it, and in an effort to send a positive message to employees, management continues to fund and support HR. But, since HR’s goals, if they have any, and its practices run counter to the make-up of a lean and efficient business model, such an outcome has a probability similar to a roomful of monkeys at typewriters eventually writing a sonnet, possible, but not likely.
Now, to be fair, many HR professionals are caring, nice and supportive people. They, too are frustrated because they sense their companies are looking for something from them and they themselves aren’t exactly sure why the HR encroachment isn’t working. I recently was asked to speak to a gathering of HR professionals who had completed a survey on how one of their trade associations could be of most value to them. They wanted to learn how to be “more respected, highly regarded, included in the top management meetings etc.” Because of my background improving morale, productivity and performance in organizations, I was invited to offer insight into why there are gaps between their sincere intentions and motivations and their results and lack of perceived value to their employers.
This request led me to an interesting observation. One of the most troubling facets of HR management over the last 20 years is the almost universal aversion among HR professionals to profiling or testing people to match their strengths to their jobs and to direct them away from jobs they are less suited for. The science today in this field is extraordinarily efficient, accurate and cost- effective. There are over 1700 such instruments available, some better than others, but the good ones are easy to spot. The science developed around the links between performance and behavioral profile is very sophisticated, trustworthy and powerful. Yet, most HR professionals would rather be dipped in acid than to allow this technology into their company, primarily owing to the basic fears and needs associated with the behavioral types of most HR professionals.
What is the behavioral type of HR? An analysis of over 800 behavioral profiles of HR professionals in almost every industry throughout the country tells us plainly. Out of the 800 surveys, 760 of them had striking similarities and basically fall into 2 groups; the “policeman” and the “social worker”. During the HR conference, descriptive words associated with each of these two types were listed on overhead slides. The HR staffers were asked to identify themselves in the descriptions listed on the overheads. Each one in the audience easily did so. They also agreed that a primary motivation and “buzzword” for them is fairness. They were comfortable with fairness being defined as “treating each and every person exactly the same,” which is essentially the same definition the Federal government would give, if asked.
The bad news is this definition has negative implications for the successful workplace because they believe people should be treated exactly the same regardless of skill, talent, ability, commitment or willingness. They do not want to deal with, and thus deny, the very real differences in people and how they perform their work. The fact is that all people are not the same: they don’t believe the same things, want the same things, or do the same things well. And, clearly, not all people want to be managed or led or treated the same. There is an abundance of tools and resources that can help every supervisor and manager learn exactly what every employee needs to be successful and contributing, and therefore contented and loyal. The question is why won’t HR allow managers access to those tools?
The answer lies in those core behaviors the two HR camps share. “They share the need to be liked or at least respected for their position, and to “belong.” They seek to avoid conflict and criticism, by avoiding decisions. This leads to codifying all behaviors in lengthy, redundant manuals, handbooks and training programs. Most HR executives believe training is the answer to everything, that the company exists for the employee, and that merit recognition is wrong and hurtful. They think employees need to be protected from the company and that the company should have a stronger social commitment to the employee than it does to making a profit and surviving. Hence, HR is counter-current to the fundamental requirement for all for-profit enterprises, within the bounds of ethics, to do what makes sense to the shareholders.
HR staffers may also believe that achievers are dangerous, selfish and insensitive and do not deserve to earn any more than a non-achiever. Without flinching, HR will lose a superstar to your competitor because he or she is out of the compensation range. They expect respect for their credentials and seniority, and think that intentions and appearances are more important than results and outcomes.
They abuse and misuse legislation and federal regulations and use bureaucratic by-products as a club to avoid the effort of doing exceptional references, scrupulous hiring processes and confronting disappointing performance. These are not business friendly attributes. (By the way, there is no obstacle to getting sound, sane and meaningful references, no law or prohibition).
Many of the activities of the HR department contradict what employees have been trying to tell us for years, that what really works is very simple. The number one source of satisfaction or dissatisfaction for most employees (and potential litigants) is and has been the relationship to their immediate supervisor. Also, they want to be recognized for what they do. They want to be differentiated when they do well and not treated or compensated the same as a mediocre performer working alongside them. They want to be viewed as individuals, not as interchangeable Legos. They want managers with the courage and common sense to make tough decisions and deal with poor performers.
Truly, the current trends and outlook in HR is bleak, but not hopeless. There were, after all, 40 HR profiles in the sample that are very strong business partners who share the vision of their leadership, can see clearly the importance of providing the right people in the right job, and who take responsibility for the success of those people. They recognize the primary factors in good performance and morale and are passionate about achievement and results. Not surprising, a quick look at those 40 showed that most of them came from another area of the company, i.e. operations, marketing, somewhere where results, deadlines and priorities were important.
A large corporation may be able to survive the counterproductive activities of its HR department, but entrepreneurial entities can be forever changed and damaged. The scariest observation may be the larger the HR department, the worse morale and performance may be.
The HR department may be the last place you would think to look when goals are not met, quality is not maintained, morale declines and the fun goes out of your job as a Leader. But, behind those smiles, good intentions and gentle spirits may lurk the forces that drain the energy and passion from your people and the focus from your vision. Take a look and compare the values, motivations and belief systems in your HR department with those of your own vision and the vision of your successful leaders.
The enemy may well be within.
Jennifer Munro’s TOP TEN LIST:
WARNING SIGNS THAT YOUR COMPANY IS IN TROUBLE!!!
10 You aren’t having the fun you thought you would have when you risked all to start a company!
9 You are spending more time on people problems (Hint: All problems are people problems.
8 You are spending much less time doing what you want to do,what you need to do and what you like to do.
7 Things are not getting done and when they are done, they are done wrong!
6 You dread Mondays and count the minutes til Friday (and you are the boss, just think how the employees feel!)
5 Your customers and/or vendors are mad!!
4 Your employees are mad, at you, at each other.
3 You are mad more often than you like to admit, or just disappointed, or just frustrated.
2 Your competitors are expanding due to anticipation of new business . . . from yours.
And the Number One Warning Sign your company is in trouble . . .
1 Your quiet, shy bookkeeper is attending a whole lot of networking events and is becoming the resident expert on resume strategy.