Wednesday, June 29, 2016

See Dr. David Farrar Speak About Change

Change Their Minds and Change Their World:
How Real Estate Professionals Can Lead Change For Clients and Colleagues

 

An international consultant, corporate executive and trained psychologist will speak about the psychology of change and how you can become a change leader in your professional and personal life.

Successful corporate real estate professionals help clients navigate the stages of change.  How successful would you be if your clients weren’t anxious about change?
  • People value what they have more than they value what they could gain. Why?
  • Why do you clients "grieve" a little for their old spaces even when you show them their new spaces?
  • How are we wired to make change work?
Dr. Farrar will discuss how to lead people through change drawing on his experience from leading large corporate change projects. You will learn:
  • Six steps that everyone goes through whenever they change.
  • Jump starting the desire for change.
  • How changes become sticky.
Dr. Farrar will provide overview of corporate change models and the roles required of change agents and leaders.

Learn about key topics including:
·         Corporate Change Models
·         Speaking Corporate Change Language
·         Help Your Clients and Colleagues Embrace Change

A hands-on workshop will follow the presentation.

Speaker:
Dr. David Farrar
Koliso | The Psychology of Business


When: 
Friday, July 15, 2016

Agenda:

8:00 a.m. – Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:30-11:30 a.m. – Program
11:30 a.m. – Boat departs/Lunch Served
1:30 p.m. – Boat returns to dock

Where:
Bayview Event Center
687 Excelsior Blvd.
Excelsior, MN 55331
   
Cost:
Members: $50.00
Non-Members: $
100.00

CORENET HAS APPLIED FOR REAL ESTATE CREDITS FOR THIS PROGRAM.

Cancellation Policy: 
If you need to cancel your registration, you must contact the Midwest Chapter Office by Tuesday, July 12, 2016, to receive a full refund. Unfortunately, cancellations after that time will not receive a refund. Unpaid cancellations and no-shows will be invoiced.

Late Policy: 
Please be aware that registrations received after the July 12 deadline will be charged a $10 late fee.


July Featured Sponsor:
Gardner Builders


Monday, November 23, 2015

High-Maintenance Employees in the Workplace



What effect does the high-maintenance colleague have in your workplace?

We're not talking here about the person who is doing bad work or has overtly unacceptable behaviors, such as abuse or intolerance. We're talking about the kind of person most managers describe as high-maintenance because they demand a lot of time without producing a lot of work.

We have had this issue come up three times with clients in just the last few months. Consider the fictional example of George.

George is good but not great at his job. He always has questions about how to go about his work, has a pessimistic view of the future and resists change and innovations. His colleagues have to overcome these obstacles to work with him and have to resist arguing with him about his views and behaviors. It should be noted that George's work output is perfectly reasonable.

Researcher Eli Finkel at Northwestern University, and many others, have looked at the effects conflict and interpersonal friction have on people working on common goals in relationships—and it's not always what you think. The Finkel research is well replicated and the social coordination model is well understood in psychology. We can apply the research in the workplace and come up with some interesting results.

Managers often feel that the reason for keeping a high-maintenance employee on the team is an issue of diversity or fairness—that it would be unfair to remove someone from the team because of a personality issue. Further, managers often think the issue is one of morale and they can compensate for the Georges of the world by keeping up morale in other ways.

Finkel's research views the problem more as one of social coordination and self-control. It describes self-control as a limited capacity system that can be run down when taxed too much. High-maintenance interactions put a lot of pressure on the capacity for self-control, and so social friction occurs and workplace coordination breaks down.

When personality issues are brought to us we look first at the organization to ensure that everything is set up to position the employees for success. Are goals understood? Are the roles clear? Are there effective processes in place? If the answer to these is yes then the personality issue can usually be concluded as the problem. Colleagues can't collaborate with someone if dealing with them results in more self-control than successful outcomes of teamwork.

We reviewed the workplace, and in George's case the goals, roles and processes were clear. George's behavior was in some way wired-in. As a first step, we advised the managers to bring to his attention the effect he was having on his colleagues. The managers needed to address the situation not as a personality issue, but as specific behaviors that were affecting the ability of his colleagues to collaborate with him.

In our experience, some people find this behavior extremely hard to change. As a leader you have to balance the work the person is accomplishing against the effect they have on the team and make a decision that is best for everyone. In the last three months one of our Georges resigned, one was terminated and one is making a sincere effort to change based on the feedback and the effect on their colleagues.

What’s the take away for business? Managing a high-maintenance employee isn't about exerting control over their personality. The right perspective is to view it as setting up a work environment with smooth social coordination so that goals, roles and processes are achieved collaboratively.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Making Collaboration Work

We have worked with many executive teams that want to improve the teamwork and collaboration in their organizations. For some, the issue seemed to be the team members’ personality differences while for others it was a lack of focus, or an inability to take a disciplined approach to achieving results. One of our favorite business resources, the Harvard Review Insight Center, gathers twenty general resources and six HBR articles on how collaboration works.

Below is a simplified list of these findings.

1. Everything starts with trust. Trust is based on four things: competence, reliability, openness and principled behavior. If you and your team members don't know how to demonstrate these characteristics, and are not held accountable for demonstrating them, you will not get past first base. 
2. You need shared goals. Call it a vision, a mission or a strategic intent, but what counts is that everyone knows what the team is there to achieve and buys into the common picture of success. 
3. Roles need to be clear. Unless people know why they are on the team and how they and their colleagues can contribute, the team can't work together. You can’t delegate to each other or capitalize on team members’ strengths unless you have role clarity and understanding. 
4. Processes should be simple and direct. Everyone has worked on a team that reinvents the wheel for the sake of not knowing the best way to get something done. Similarly, most people have worked on a team that spins its wheels because members didn't understand the right responses and actions to be taken. 
5. Relationships are key. When we see dysfunctional teams, members often blame one or more people for not being team players. However, our experience is that relationships start to fray as an outcome of poor trust, goals, roles and processes. Focus on these factors before making decisions on relationships. 
6. Communication is everything. Every engagement survey, every satisfaction instrument, every analysis always emphasizes the importance of communication. It is a basic premise of human psychology that everyone wants to feel heard and valued for who they are. Talk with them, and equally if not more importantly, listen.

In our consulting work we have structured tools that help our clients make significant improvements in each of these six areas. In simplifying these HBR resources for you, we confirmed these basics are the same no matter who the author is or which study you look at.

So what is the take-away for business? Make sure you have good practices around the six areas above, bring in help where you need to and make sure your help understands what really works and has the tools to help you.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Three Basic Interpersonal Skills

These skills are remarkably easy to learn and practice, and remarkably powerful in the positive effect they have on other people.

1. Treat everyone as you want to be treated
a. With dignity
b. And respect

2. Maintain and enhance other people’s self-esteem
a. Be specific
b. Be sincere

3. Always make an effort to make things better
a. Focus on the issues, not the people
b. Ask for help and engage other people


The keys to social success

The basic skills have never changed. Skill number one looks pretty much like the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Almost every religious belief from Christianity to Buddhism to Hinduism and Islam contains something that looks very much like this as a basic moral precept.

If you have read Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People you will remember that making other people feel good was central to his work. We are wired socially to respond positively to people who make us feel good. We go out of our way to be around them, and we make an effort to help them where we can.

And speaking of people we want to be around, studies consistently show that individuals who have an optimistic attitude and are focused on making things better are more popular and more successful socially and in business. They are also more successful and happier with their lives than people with pessimistic attitudes. They may see how things are not perfect, yet they put their effort into making them better. They offer and accept help and know the importance of engaging people to want to make things better.

You can start to see how the three basic interpersonal skills provide a firm springboard from which to deal with other issues. All workplaces and social organizations work best when using the basic interpersonal skills is just a natural part of how things are done every day.

Start with the basics if you want to look at your personal success, or you want to coach or mentor someone in your organization. Look closely at the basic interpersonal skills. People whose behavior doesn’t reflect the skills will struggle to get things done successfully with other people.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Koliso Perspective: The Psychology of Business—More than a Catchy Tagline

When most people think of psychologists, two prominent images come to mind: the white-coated research psychologist in a laboratory studying rats in a maze or attaching electrodes to someone’s head and the analytical psychologist providing clinical insights to a patient on a couch or interpreting subconscious behavior.

Applied psychologists are different. We’re basically scientists trained to apply psychological methods and frameworks to real world issues and problems.

The founder of applied psychology is not Sigmund Freud but Hugo Münsterberg, a German who immigrated to the United States and taught at Harvard in the beginning of the twentieth century. Münsterberg applied psychology to fields as diverse as legal testimony and confessions, engineering, teaching and business.

The International Association of Applied Psychologists (IAAP), of which Koliso co-founder David is a member, is the oldest international professional psychological society. How do applied psychologists look at solving real world issues?

Let’s consider traffic management. The IAAP has a whole division of members devoted to traffic and transport psychology. As trained scientists, applied psychologists look at the interactions between the traffic system, the behaviors of individuals and groups and the social rewards and expectations attached to driving. This has led to insights into the seven E’s of traffic psychology: education, enforcement, engineering, exposure, environment, emergency responsiveness and evaluations*. Education factors in variables such as in-car versus written examinations. Engineering examines effective signage and the response times needed to react to different road conditions. Enforcement looks at different kinds of controls and fines associated with good and bad driving.

As you can see, psychologists have a much wider influence on traffic management than simply investigating things such as driver road rage.

In the world of business, applied psychologists look at much more than just choosing the right candidates for jobs (traditional research type “test and tell” work) or helping employees deal with workplace stress (traditional counseling type roles).

Business is a series of interactions not just for the benefit of one person or the other, but voluntarily entered into for the benefit of both parties. It’s a system where motivations, expectations, the environment and the way the work is engineered play a significant part in the value of the exchange and how satisfied each party will be.

At different times the psychology of business focuses on the employees of the business, their customers and their community. It can include everything from recruitment, selection, training, performance appraisal, job satisfaction, motivation, engagement, productivity, work behavior, stress at work, reactions to change and effective management.

Applied psychologists are most effective in organizations where human capital is greatly valued: technology jobs, service industries, professional practices and other places where highly skilled employees are central to the business. Applied psychologists are trained to be methodical in their approach, look for predictable outcomes, and evaluate their success with measurable evidence.


Read the rest of the newsletter. 

Interested in learning more about this topic for your organization? Contact us.

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* Porter, Bryan E.. Handbook of traffic psychology. London: Academic Press, 2011.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trust Is Not a Trivial Pursuit



Imagine you’re going to hire a babysitter, pet sitter or dog walker. Obviously they have to be trustworthy before you let them come into your home and care for your precious one.

Over the years it has become increasingly obvious to me that the basis of every relationship at work is that same level of trust. The presence or absence of trust fundamentally determines whether the relationship will work.

The caregiver has to demonstrate the four aspects of trust before you’ll hire them.


  1. You have to be sure they can do the job in the sense of being competent to watch, pay attention, keep your loved one safe and deal with any issues that arise.
  2. You have to be sure you can rely on them in the sense of them being willing and available when you need them.
  3. You’ll be more comfortable trusting them if you can check in on what they’re doing, maybe by phoning in or observing what they do with your loved one before you leave them alone together.
  4. And finally, you have to trust that if there is anything you haven’t thought of they are the kind of person who will do the right thing without having to be told.



Trustworthy people are Competent, Reliable, Open and Principled.

When trust is present relationships generate a “high trust dividend” that can be measured in terms of time, money and well being. High trust maximizes the potential for faster, more profitable and happier relationships. 

The absence of trust means that things go more slowly, less profitably and less happily. Low trust generates a significant relationship penalty that can be seen and felt.

Being trustworthy

Thinking of trust this way makes trust concrete. It enables you to measure, investigate and demonstrate trust. There should always be a positive outcome in each of the four areas.  A lapse in any area causes suspicion and lowers the confidence you have in the relationship. 

Sensible people neither trust too much or too little.  Using “smart trust” they actively engage in high trust relationships with high trust dividends. They ask probing questions that test the relationship and hold people accountable for lapses.

Collecting the trust dividend…

People who invest in trust collect dividends:  their relationships are richer and more rewarding in terms of time, money and well-being. People who are trusted find it easier to get things done with others and have a knack for finding common ground with people of all kinds. They usually have a supportive network in place to help them when the time for action comes. 

When people are trusted it is easier for them to make connections and motivate others toward a common vision.

Once you start thinking about trust in this way it is easier to build trust into every part of your life.  At work you can eliminate policies and ways of doing business that erode trust. How does the performance appraisal system, budget review process or hiring procedure contribute to trust?  Are policies as open as the limits of confidentiality allow, or do they encourage secrecy and suspicion? Do you include issues of trust in vendor and supplier decisions?

…and how to do it

When we work with clients we help them see that trust doesn’t just happen. Trust needs to be pursued and built in a purposeful way into every aspect of an organization. We help clients “bake in” trust so their organizations are happier places to work with better business results.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

The "Sandwich Approach" Undermines Your Feedback


Link to article

Best quotes: “Alex and Stacey, I have some negative feedback to give you. I'll start with some positive feedback to relax you, and then give you the negative feedback, which is the real purpose of our meeting. I'll end with more positive feedback so you won't be so disappointed or angry at me when you leave my office. How does that work for you?”

“Effective leaders are transparent about the strategies they use when working with others.”

This article links last month’s material on influence and this month’s theme of trust. Many people think that to successfully influence someone you need to give a “sandwich” of positive feedback with the corrective meat in the middle followed by another slice of warm affirmation.

I’ve seen many so called experts talk about the power of sandwiching. In reality it increases anxiety. The receiver can’t rely on what you saying being the whole of the story and people who use this strategy definitely aren’t being open about what they are doing.

There is a much better way to give feedback and this article shows how to use openness and trust to do it.