Imagine you are leading an organisation. Some of the people are super positive; some are neutral; some are negative. How do you want to work with the different kinds of people?
In the old days organisations often told you to concentrate on turning-around the negative people. But that did not work. Nowadays you put your energy into the engine, not the trailer.
Here are three steps you can take with the different kinds of people.
1) The positive people.
“Reward the behaviour you want repeated,” is the motto in all organisations. So you encourage the positive people. They are the engine, but they also need support. Frequently they volunteer for tasks, do great work but also get exhausted. You need them:
a) To be superb models for other people in the organisation.
b) To play to their strengths and deliver successful projects.
c) To share success stories which highlight the strategies for building the future successful organisation.
Spend time with the positive people, find out their passions and clarify their ‘A’ talents. Then encourage them to make their best contribution to the organisation. Try completing the following sentence.
2) The positive-neutral people.
Such people can become the backbone of the organisation. They often respond well if you enable them:
a) To know the goals – the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’.
b) To know the game plan – the ‘How’, ‘Who’ and ‘When’.
c) To be given a sense of ‘ownership’ in implementing their part of their strategy.
d) To be given the support they need to do the job.
e) To get a share of the rewards.
You will follow these steps in your own way. One leader said:
“I toured every country in the EMEA region and did 2 hour sessions in which I literally met every person. Meeting groups of around 20 people, I talked about last year’s achievements, before outlining the goals for the next year.
“I used a flip chart and a few slides, but the tone was mainly conversational. Looking at the challenges ahead, I invited people to ask their questions and answered these as honestly as possible.
“Finally I reiterated the organisation’s strategy and outlined what we could all do to get some quick successes. People seemed to appreciate the sessions.”
Sounds hard work? Perhaps, but it can be harder if you do not connect with people. Given the right kind of support, they will do superb work and go that extra mile. Try completing the following sentence.
3) The negative people.
They must make a decision: Do they want to be part of the organisation or not? You can outline:
a) The results to achieve.
b) The rules – the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for reaching the goals.
c) The rewards.
Be positive but be firm. As adults, people can make choices – and each choice has consequences.
Give people the opportunity to consider ‘The Deal’. They can choose whether they want to opt-in and make a positive contribution. This must then be followed-up by deeds rather than words. If they do not change, then act to protect the other people and maintain a positive culture.
Try completing the following sentence.
Great organisations are made-up of people who choose to be there every day. They are volunteers, not victims. So build on the positive people and do whatever is necessary to guide the organisation to success.