Thursday, December 03, 2009

The 7 Biggest People Mistakes - #5: Betting People Will Change

Research tells us 60% of who we are we're born with - the other 40% is what we have control of to manifest our destiny. Don't know if you thought these percentages were higher or lower, but interesting. To clarify, the stuff we're born with are things such as addictions, physical attributes, pychological idioms, etc. Suffice to say, we can change much and none of this should dimish our chance of living a successful life!

So what then do we do when it comes to hiring or dealing with people in the workplace? In my humble opinion, three things. But first, let's be clear. We're talking about changing a person's behaviors right? ...something in the 40%, correct? Let's also be clear we've identified the traits and attributes of the person we'll assume we're talking about, right?

1. Don't hire the person to begin with: Passion, ambition, intelligence, creativity, tenacity are things which are so difficult to change if they are not there to begin with, major doubtful it will ever change. Do you have enough hours in the day to fix this? Nope. Don't even start.

2. Implement compensating strategies around them. Maybe the person is already employed, or some other situation where you need to deal with them. Try to surround this person with others who can deal with the issues the 1st person can't. Not exactly rocket-science, but you'd be surprised how often this ISN'T done.

3. Use training or coaching ONLY in certain situations where you feel it is absolutely essential or as a last resort. What you're after is isolating the areas of non-performance and trying to get the person to both realize then act to change the situation. Some people can learn to change or adapt themselves in the face of being fired. This process is the most expensive and most time consuming - choose and spend wisely.

My wish is for people to find the absolute best fit for themselves and for companies to appreciate their best asset shouldn't be shoved into a role not suited for their overall success. Win-win, as the saying goes...