Archive | July, 2017

Develop Greater Consciousness as a Leader!

8 Jul

If you deal with employees in the capacity of supervisor or team leader, it’s advantageous to consider applying the concept of “shaping behavior” to your work. This term was probably first used by the humanist psychologist Scott Peck, author of many books, among them, “The Road Less Traveled.”
Peck used the metaphor of a gardener loving his plants and trees. If you love this living “being” in your garden you will do the following:
1. water your tree,
2. fertilize it, and
3. prune it
In so doing, you shape the growth of your tree and ultimately show it to its best advantage.
Whether caring about your employees or whether loving your children, this same metaphor applies. When an employee in your organization or a child in your family does something right, you want to reward that behavior so that you will experience more of it!
The greatest ‘reward” you can provide are words of legitimate praise for a task well done. Words of praise from a respected leader far surpass any monetary reward you can provide your employee. If the employee respects you for your work ethic, your fairness, and your appreciation of his/her situation, your words will mean a great deal to him/her. The employee will want to continue to do a good job for you, the leader.
Another reward that is often overlooked as a morale booster is offer of enhanced duties in the workplace (or at home, as the case may be). Offering the employee enhanced duties — with of course appropriate support in carrying them out — says that you trust this person and therefore entrust important tasks to him/her.
Rewards such as a bonus or raise, flexible hours or choice in holidays are also much appreciated and also convey the message that the employee and his/her work ethic is noticed. However, the psychological impact of words or praise or enhanced duties far outweighs any monetary rewards.
On the home front, monetary rewards such as an allowance can be a great teaching tool for young people. An allowance should be tied to the chores assigned and the level of completion. If the parent helps the child establish a savings account, the child can learn to save part of his/her earnings — not all, because there needs to be some “mad money” the child can use for whatever is fun.
As a leader one also has to consider the consequences of untoward behavior in the workplace (or at home). Here, two words come to mind: discipline versus punishment. In the metaphor of shaping behavior, which we used above, discipline would be likened to pruning the tree. When we discipline those in our care, we allow them to take the consequences of their ill-thought-out behavior. We come at the task of discipline with a calm and fair mind, so as to write an evaluation that is accurate but also extends to the corrective action which the employee can take. This calm mind is not influenced by any angry reactions to the situation. Instead the calm mind sees beyond the present moment into the future reparations which the employee (or child) will make, and ALL IS WELL.
Punishment by contrast usually emerges from an angry mind, intent on getting revenge or caught up in the leader’s own ego. If a leader thinks only about the impressions s/he will make on bosses and peers, such a person will be caught up in all the “dark green” emotions which emerge instantaneously from a difficult situation. Such a leader will be filled with anger, shame, frustration, embarrassment, etc.
If you are not just on earth to accumulate as much material wealth and power as you can, but feel a higher calling to help others reach their potential, while striving for this in your own life, then you will want to develop greater consciousness as a leader!