Manager with Superpowers: How Psychology Helps in Management
A licensed therapist, coach, NLP specialist Sara Wade told CleverControl what methods of short-term therapy every manager should take into account, why the well-known paradigm "carrot–stick–carrot" is now outdated and what is better to use instead of completely ineffective psychological tests.
Sara , to effectively use psychology in HR it is not necessarily to become a therapist and conduct actual therapy sessions, however, we can still borrow some techniques. What notes would you recommend to take to each boss?
I believe that everything is based on personal psychodiagnostic of employees. Business is built on people, they create the workflow and achieve results. Leaders often make intuitive decisions, and in this context, the reinforcement of knowledge and skills in psychology can only improve the quality of the work and optimize many business processes.
In my opinion, for managers and business owners it is important to pay attention to the methods of short-term therapy, which include coaching, NLP and various cognitive techniques that can be extremely useful in business. Coaching teaches managers to master the unique resources and to go beyond personal limits in order to achieve more. Neuro-linguistic programming will help to build effective behavioral strategies, to learn to resist manipulation and psychological domination. Psychodiagnostics will help a manager to see particular qualities of each employee, their personal abilities, and provide the understanding of what to expect and to demand from the person involved in the business process.
Corporate culture and the formation of the overall result will help to build a step-by-step control system at each stage and implement disciplinary elements needed to build employees’ motivation.
New tricks to use
It is clear that now companies are moving away from the use of methods of pressure on personnel. What new "tricks" can psychology provide so that the Manager could get from the employee everything the company needs?
The most important psychological secret is the sequence of actions of the General Manager. If you set a goal, if you are genuinely interested in it as a leader, as a result, you motivate your employees. It is necessary to diagnose the staff to understand what their true motivation is, and what people are really focused on.
How to "criticize" correctly? What scheme does psychology recommend? Is it still popular to hide criticism between praising?
Unfortunately, this scheme is long out of date. Now it is important not to criticize and not get in the parent position. Though, it is important to speak with employees from the perspective of the adult: to set specific objectives, monitor the intermediate results, and introduce a mandatory reporting system. It helps employees to structure all the things that they did, on the one hand, and to obtain feedback from heads of Departments and divisions or senior Managers on the other.
It is optimal if the employee tells not only what he was doing but also shares his or her tasks at the moment, talks about real short-term plans, while making requests and sharing wishes. This way in addition to the report that stimulates by default and the personal initiative of the employee is also stimulated. And then you don't have to criticize the employees. If there is a conflict, regular misconduct and all your wishes and requirements as a manager are left unnoticed, in this case it is necessary to replace the employee to find a more loyal one who will be willing to fulfill the tasks, as opposed to keeping a person who creates a negative atmosphere in the team.
The theme of emotional intelligence is also popular. What can psychology recommend to anyone who is interested in its development?
Emotional intelligence is, first and foremost, the human ability to recognize emotions, to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people and their own as well as the ability to manage your emotions and emotions of others in order to solve practical problems. This set of skills is not as simple as it seems because without the supervision of a specialist it is difficult to master these abilities. It is necessary to involve a psychologist, focus on practical experience and to learn new things through training, allowing adjustment from someone who has already achieved certain results in the development of his or her emotional intelligence.
Otherwise, you can just get confused, get lost in the terminology and not grasp the methodology of this unique psychological knowledge without the psychological education.
What about psychological tests for employees? How appropriate are they and where do you recommend to use them?
Personally, I as specialist exclude psychological tests entirely. They have a low level of efficiency, due to the fact that people give socially acceptable answers to those questions that are related to one’s personal characteristics. Color and non-verbal tests work better. This way we get more information and the employee cannot anticipate and build some planned behavior.
Do companies need to have a psychologist on staff?
Is not necessary. HR specialists can handle administrative work related to employees. Nowadays it is more important and economically beneficial to engage a specialist that will provide a range of services: testing, making recommendations to the General Manager in the format of the final result, conducting individual training, organizing coaching sessions with key staff members, realizing remote supervision of the company.
This is enough for a qualified participation of a psychologist in the company and in improving its results.