Whenever I conduct management and leadership training or facilitate a development session, I start with sharing the following premises:
Premise 1: We Behave Consistently With Who We Think We Are
This is why taking on productive beliefs is so important (see yesterday´s post) and why self-awareness is critical for management development.
Premise 2: Relationships = Results
Everything we do as managers and leaders should build, not destroy relationships. Managerial learning is fundamentally about relationships. Management is a social act. It occurs in conversation.
Premise 2B: Nothing Beats Great Dialogue
This is related to Relationships = Results. Improving just this one thing – dialogue – can make a huge difference to a work group´s success. Management development that models and teaches dialogue skills serves managers and the company well.
"When people talk to each other, the world gets constructed."?? Vivien Burr
Premise 3: Our Strengths and Weaknesses Are KNOWN
If I am a control freak – everybody knows this.
If I get defensive – everybody knows this.
If I am detail oriented to a fault – everybody knows this.
If I have great ideas – everyone knows.
If I am a nervous nilly – everyone knows.
If I suck up in meetings – everyone knows.
If I follow through with commitments on time – everyone knows.
Talking openly about weaknesses is a good thing and will improve our respectability, not lessen it. The tragedy occurs when managers are not willing to be open about their weaknesses due to a fear of looking bad – the fear is unfounded since everyone knows our weaknesses already.
Premise 4: Great Managers Do what Others Won´t
This is not rocket science (what do rocket scientists say?). What separates good and great managers and leaders is partially technique, but a lot of it is that great managers are in action. They´re proactive, they take the initiative, they get it done. Mediocre managers choose to do less than great managers (and I am not just talking volume here).
These premises are basic beliefs about management and leadership development and they are powerful in and of themselves. Feel free to use and expand upon these. If you think of other premises that you like, please share them!