Too often we take things very, very personally. It could be because of the way someone looks at us or the way we´re left out of a key conversation or a celebratory lunch. It´s hard to shake that stuff off, but in business it´s really critical to know how to make a distinction between what´s personal and what´s business. One of the best ways to separate the two (and I know there are situations in which the two are really inseparable, but that´s for another time) is to place the focus on stuff, not people. In other words, emphasize the task rather than the person responsible for doing it. When you put a strategy or plan in the spotlight and connect it to a company´s overall growth you´re more likely to see some momentum. We can´t help ourselves when it comes to personalities. We like to cheer each other on (and, unfortunately, pull each apart, too). We pick people to champion and other to pick on. It´s an odd cycle, but it´s like. Here, we learn a little about focusing on results rather than on people. More from my Q&A with author Bob Prosen whose new book is titled Kiss Theory Good Bye: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company:
LGL: What´s the real difference between being "hard on performance and easy on people"? That seems fairly obvious, but we all know that in some cases subordinates really become a manager´s punching bag.
BP:The focus must be on results rather than people. Then it´s easy for everyone to be hard on performance and easy on the performers. Effective organizations don´t get personal when concentrating on results attainment. They focus on removing roadblocks that stand in the way of accomplishing the goal, as opposed to the individual´s inability to achieve that goal.
It´s ï¬?ne to be hard on performance-you should be, when numbers, quotas, commitments, and objectives are at risk or go unmet. But you don´t want to be hard on people. Watch your language. Don´t make it personal. Instead, focus on the business problem. Also, be careful not to shoot the messenger. This will help people feel as free to talk about where they are failing as where they are succeeding. When there is a need to deal with a performance problem, do it privately. If you don´t, your people will clam up.