Management training and advanced communication skills
Management training is about improving the performance of oneself and others.
In order to do that, you need people to develop themselves.
But asking a person to engage in an act of self-development means asking them to change; and many people don't like the idea that they should change. They like themselves, just the way they are.
You can hear them say "I am not changing for anybody".
"I am what I am".
"You can take it or leave it; cause I ain't changing!"
Asking people to develop themselves implies that they need to develop themselves. I.e. asking people to develop themselves implies a criticism;
There is an implied message of: you are not good enough.
Asking people to attend professional management training may sound like:
"Our training needs analysis reveals that you are broken. You need to be fixed: therefore I want you to attend this course".
For these reasons, asking people to attend management training or other development programmes can invoke resistance and/or, a loss of self-confidence.
How can you get round this problem?
Answer: In language, separate the person from the performance.
In thought and language separate the personality from the performance.
- The personality is, the psychology: the "soul" or "the spirit" of the person.
- The performance is, the behaviour: "everything the person does and says".
Sometimes: It is important to separate the person from the performance
Because if your message implies the others personality is imperfect, then you will almost always trigger a negative response in the mind of the listener.
BUT if your message implies that only the persons performance is imperfect (but his personality is fine) then you will trigger less resistance.
Remember that many people DO equate their personality with their performance
They believe they are what they do.
Example: If you ask someone at a party "And what did you say you are?"
Then nine times out of ten, he-she will give you their profession: "I am a doctor" "a lawyer", "a plumber".
The idea that "you ARE what you DO" can lead to a condition that afflicts many people:
This affliction is called:
Over sensitivity to criticism.
In addition: The idea that "you ARE what you DO" can lead to a different disease: many people are infected with:
"Over-inflated ego syndrome"
Both conditions are caused by the same thing:
You believe too strongly that you ARE what you DO.
You equate your personality to your performance.
If you equate your personality to your performance then every criticism of your performance will be regarded as a personal insult.
Mistakenly, John believes that the statement "John, the proposal you wrote, was bad", means "John, you are bad"
Equating your personality to your performance makes it almost impossible for you to accept criticism without a drop in your own self-confidence.
Example: in 2006, the actor/director/author, Stephen Fry went into a deep depression for months after his stage play gained poor reviews.
People often equate their personality with their performance
And it can make them go the other way too: they get "over-inflated ego syndrome"
They get too cocky.
Alf, from sales department mistakenly thinks because his sales performance was great last month HE is Alfred the Great.
The Hollywood actress who gives a great screen performance mistakenly thinks that makes her a GREAT PERSON!
Here is the point: DONT equate performance with personality
Instead: It is often helpful to;
Separate the performance from the personality
If the person is doing badly, don't tell him that HE is doing badly. Tell him he is doing fine, but his performance is in need of an improvement!
If Steve needs to attend a course, don't tell him "Stephen: you are terrible. You need to go on a time management course"
Say "your performance would be improved if you knew more time management techniques"
If the person comes up with a bad idea, don't say "You must be crazy- that won't work!"
In language, strive to separate the idea from the personality before you shoot the idea down.
"Thanks for the idea: It is an interesting concept, in theory.
Can you come up with an idea that is more practical?"
Separate the performance from the personality
If the person is too cocky, don't attack him for being too cocky.
Just say "Up till now Alf, with the help from the rest of the sales and marketing team your performance has been very good- keep it up!"
Remember: Separate the performance from the personality
For more information about management training courses visit the Corporate Coach Group website