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  Nurture people skills by influencing behavior


Knowing why people behave as they do is the key to gaining their commitment. Aim to understand people's needs in order to motivate them and thus meet the demands of the organization.

Understanding Behaviors
Natural, instinctive behavior is not always appropriate in the workplace. Make an effort to produce behavioral patterns that lead to productive and effective teamwork in your employees.

Behaving Naturally
People at work naturally tend to adopt instinctive modes of behavior that are self-protective rather than open and collaborative. This explains why emotion is a strong force in the workplace and why management often reacts fiercely to criticism and usually seeks to control rather than take risks. People also tend to leap to conclusions and fragment into small, often warring, groups. Companies exhibiting "natural" behavior like this are highly political and emphasize status and hierarchy. They are less pleasant to work for and generally at odds with the needs of people and the marketplace.

Behaving Appropriately
Natural behavior is based on subjective responses that can often lead not only to negative feelings (such as insecurity), but also to mistaken perceptions concerning the intentions of other staff members. More constructive behavioral attributes will encourage co-operation, openness, and self-confidence. Some readily recognizable traits of people with appropriate behavioral skills include a proven facility to communicate positively and confidently with colleagues at all levels; the swift and generous recognition of the achievements of others; the ability to learn from mistakes and failures; and a general approach that is based on collaboration with fellow workers rather than competition.

Key Points
1. Try to influence behavior rather than to change personalities.
2. Encourage and reward constructive behavior.


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