I’m going to hold his feet to the fire ! (said the Angry Boss)

“Someone will be blame for this”

“I’m going to hold his feet to the fire”

There’s some of the words hurled at me sometimes in the past. Of course most of the time I’m able to fend away the heat but most of the time, I just wishes things could been better.

Well, I couldn’t control others, but I can control my own reactions to my current circumstances.

Well, many senior executives use such belligerent phrases, evocative of ancient torture, terrible choices of language at times to describe how they will get employees to perform. Too bad, this are usually seen as clear signs of “Macho Management”.

This approach rests on the belief that you can use your toughness to make other people do something that they don’t want to do. Proponents of this school of management believe employees lack drive and responsibility. They think that to get you charges to do what you want, you must monitor them constantly.

Newer findings in science teaches that leaders who want to inspire people to act must look beyond the tasks that they want done. If they want to foster people’s best performance, they must reach person on an ’emotional and relational dimension’.

Instead of hyper-vigilance and punitive criticism, offer your employees positive affirmation. The root of the word ‘affirmation” as mentioned before (in previous post How great leaders bring out the best in others? )comes from the word ‘affirmationem’ is to make steady, to confirm and to strengthen.

Affirmation reinforces someone’s sense of self. Speaking words of encouragement and praises has a lasting impact on people, although the corporate world has not well integrated the benefits of affirmation,’ which can be transformational. Although such a cultural change might take quite some time to be properly implemented.

Affirmation can

  • protect and improve recipients ability to handles stress and ability to think and resolve difficult challenges
  • help them to better incorporate and retain ‘positive behavior change’
  • surely would makes the employee feel much better about themselves, and even shape their core belief about themselves. And talking from a personal experience, having your senior executives said ‘someone will be blamed for this’ surely does a lot more damage than good.
  • strengthen their ability to control their impulses
  • help them to be cheerful and efficient
  • encourage recipient’s brain to release hormones like oxytocin and vasopressin, which ‘play a role in trust and involvement’ of the employee
  • stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which boosts immunity, which keeps the heart healthy and brings equilibrium to the hormonal system
  • encourage innovation and helps people become more receptive to new ideas

For affirmation to work, your words must be sincere (or sound sincere, at least) and must transcend beyond the level of a simple compliment.

In order to bring out other people’s talents, affirm them in 3 psychological dimension daily, basing your works on their individual attributes and personality profile.

Their individual attributes could be of

  1. Customary style
    • our outward style manifest in how you relate to others and act toward them.
    • It manifest in patterns that affect how others evaluate you and how open they may be to your ideas
    • different styles in how you relate to others might include being a ‘doer’, an ‘advocate’, and ‘idealist’ or a ‘challenger’
    • each has pluses and minuses.
  2. Competence
    • employees technical know-how, skills and abilities govern how well they can do things
    • display competence in how the carry out their day-to-day activities.
    • when you affirm style or competence, you are practicing ‘tactical influence’
  3. Core
    • this is the inner self that thinks, develop viewpoints and make decisions
    • it’s the ‘entity within each person that acts, feels and express itself through self talk’
    • the core is a person’s hidden being, his or her character

To exercise ‘strategic influence’ and to have profound impact on someone’s work and emotions, affirms his or her core.

The core requires knowledge, makes assessments and acts as a reference for each person’s belief. Think of the core as wise people in the past thought of the heart and mind. See the core as the foundation of a person’s nature, morality, reflections, emotions, perspectives and actions.

Thinkers in the past wondered about the location and the work of the core. Science now says that behavior stems from the complex interplay of your heart, brain and body.

Ideally, leaders should adopt and act on their personal beliefs after careful, deliberate evaluation. Unfortunately, few people  and few leaders  develop their beliefs methodically. You can develop your beliefs methodically by using a journal, in my case, a blog, to record how and why and keep notes on how I manage my problems and what turned out in the end. (you might not seen post on that since, I kept it as private, you only seen what I wanted you to see.)

Instead, people forge their beliefs based on a number of influences, including self-reflection; feedback from people who matter in their lives (family, teachers, bosses and friends) and books, movies and celebrities. People are also susceptible to the impact of advertising and unconsciously adopt beliefs from the mass media. For example, different songs has different impact on your mode and emotions. So, choose your playlist carefully.

Therefore, if you don’t evaluate your beliefs carefully, you could easily accept erroneous views. Act as the guardian of your core to avoid embracing false beliefs. Evaluating your beliefs requires discipline, a willingness to look within and an unwillingness to accept falsehood.

Discard erroneous beliefs before they entrench in your core. If your core remains whole and harmonious, others will see you as reliable. If you let dissonance breed in your core, others will see you as egotistical and self-infatuated.

Remember to record this, and treat yourself as a work in progress.

And grow.


Categories: Personal Development

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