We have, perhaps, all had the uncomfortable conversation with our boss; The one that followed something that didn’t go according to plan, the responsibility of which fell squarely on your shoulders. After the conversation, back at your desk, how do you feel? Did you return, raring to go and put in your best efforts? Or, does the ghost of that conversation keep going over in your head, like a dying ember, getting in the way of everything you do. It really puts a downer on your day doesn’t it?
Any negative interaction in the workplace can adversely affect productivity. On the other hand, if that conversation occurred in such a way that the issue was addressed, yet you simultaneously felt supported and encouraged that you can be and do your best, you would have returned from the encounter ready to get on, and prepared to be better at what you do.
All too often management utilises the classic carrot and stick approach. The thing is, everyone knows that sustained poor performance ultimately leads to an HR issue and probably dismissal. The stick is already there. That’s a no brainer – move on.
Whenever you tackle an employee issue with the threat, implied or direct, of losing their job if change doesn’t occur, the only way that employee will respond is in a way that will help them keep their job. Feeling threatened, that is the only thing they are worried about; and they will cheat, lie, and steal to ensure that survival. They’re not thinking about the collective needs of the team, they are, naturally, thinking about number one. This is not where you want their mindset to be.
Human beings are great survivors and, proportionate to any threat, they can turn their minds to any problem of survival. And, lets not beat about the bush, here, the worry of lack of performance in the context of job loss is a threat to survival for most people because this is how they support themselves and their families.
When there is no perceivable threat, however, that massive brain of ours can turn itself to all sorts of problems. Not burdened with threat, the human brain feels free, creative, and empowered. Everything they have, that goldmine of neuronal capacity, is available for the purposes of moving the team forward. They will also want to do this, and feel awesome about doing it.
Therefore, if you want to enhance your business’ creative capacity and ability to move forward to greater levels of success and to really achieve wonders, it is absolutely imperative to foster a culture of support, encouragement, friendliness, and openness.
We need more Carrots please!
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