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It may be me.....

but in the last few weeks on the forums there's been a number of questions about how do I deal with this person, who is in my team, not in my team, doesn't actually work for my company, who is obnoxious, not pulling their weight, not working as I want them to.

The crux of the question seems to be.. how do I get them to do want I want them to do when I don't have any power over them?

Peeps... it doesn't matter! You will never have power over everyone. And even if you did ... using your power to get what you want is exhausting and counter productive. You will never work for a company where everyone is perfect.

Build the relationship. Yes, even with people who are completely unlike you, obnoxious, lazy people. Work on getting them to like you, to want to work with you, show them what you need and why, show them why they should care, remember their children's names. Think about their communication style and why they might react the way they do to the things you say - and then change the way you communicate. Make it easy for them to be co-operative and give you what you need.

There is only one person you can change. You. Stop wasting your energy trying to change everyone else.

END RANT!

Wendii

jhack's picture

The only person you can really change is you.

And yet, we managers need to get others to do things...

...while the only power we have is over ourselves.

People will follow your guidance if they trust you, or share your goals, or are persuaded by your articulate vision of the future.

Wendii's right: you have to build relationships with them to know what their goals are, to build trust, and to communicate with them effectively.

It's feedback and effective writing and well run meetings and...all the other tools. It takes time. And it will always be imperfect.

Reach for the stars regardless...

John

WillDuke's picture

Gosh Wendii, are you suggesting that management is all about people? That sure sounds familiar... :wink:

tcomeau's picture

[quote="wendii"]
The crux of the question seems to be.. how do I get them to do want I want them to do when I don't have any power over them?
...

Build the relationship. ...

Wendii[/quote]

Thank you, Wendii.

I've had a page open in the Performance Management forum (here: http://www.manager-tools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2454 ) for the past three days, trying to figure out how to answer the "how do you manage people who don't work for me" question. You've provided the answer.

I think this must be some corollary to the "hammer" rule. The one thing you get when you become a manager, that non-managers don't have, is the hiring and firing tool. That can be a shiny tool that is still hard to use, so you want to try it out. So you forget all the other tools you have, and try to figure out how to use that firing tool.

The power screwdriver you have fully charged (feedback) - because you hardly use it - gathers more dust. (Note that the power screwdriver has both phillips bits for reports and flatheads for peers, and if you use the wrong one you can strip the head.)

Firing is a relationship-ending tool. Pulling out all those relationship-building tools is harder (you have to find the right tool, and you may need to recharge the batteries) but more likely to be effective.

tc>

stephenbooth_uk's picture

In the [url=http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/11/how-to-be-persuasive-in-a-presentat... Presentations[/url] cast M&M talked about three types of power:

* Role Power - The power you have due to your role (i.e. the flashing neon light on your forehead that strikes fear into your directs), "My way or the highway."
* Expertise Power - The power you have because you're recognised as being the expert in a field.
* Relationship Power - The power you have through building relationships with people so they trust you and are motivated to do what you say.

Sounds like you're saying we should build relationships and draw our power from that rather than relying on our roles.

Gosh, who'd a thunk! :-)

You can change others (or at least their behaviours, which is what really matters) but it's a slow incremental process and the only really effective way is by consistently demonstrating that certain behaviours lead to success (reward) whilst others lead to failure (punishment), or at least less success (smaller reward). If you change behaviours thoroughly enough then the person becomes habituated to them and they change in themselves so the changed behaviour becomes the natural behaviour.

Stephen

WillDuke's picture

[quote]You can change others (or at least their behaviours, which is what really matters) but it's a slow incremental process and the only really effective way is by consistently demonstrating that certain behaviours lead to success (reward) whilst others lead to failure (punishment), or at least less success (smaller reward). If you change behaviours thoroughly enough then the person becomes habituated to them and they change in themselves so the changed behaviour becomes the natural behaviour.[/quote]

This is so insightful. But, what tool could we use for this behavior modification? I assume by consistently you mean not only the same way, but also all the time to get them "habituated." Hmm, a tool we can use all the time that describes behavior and helps people understand the consequences of their behavior. :wink:

I am certain Stephen is well aware of the feedback model as one of the key components of the MT management trinity. I just couldn't resist having some fun.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]I am certain Stephen is well aware of the feedback model as one of the key components of the MT management trinity. I just couldn't resist having some fun.[/quote]

Yes, well aware of the feedback model but for maximum impact I'd want to throw in some coaching and, I'm sure there's a better term for this but none comes to mind right now, example setting. Don't want your directs to miss deadlines then make sure you don't miss any deadlines. If you want effective behaviours and your organisation provides mechanisms to reward staff (pay rises, gifts, bonuses, promotions &c) then reward effective behaviours, not sycophancy, so your directs will see that the way to get rewards is to be effective not by being a suck up. Want to be able to trust your staff, then give them the opportunity to win your trust. Etcetera.

Of course, sometimes you're going to be fighting against institutionalised behaviours, rewarding sycophancy over performance being a quite common one in my experience, but if you can force that first step, and make it work, the next one should be easier, and the one after that easier still. It's like eating an elephant, one mouthful at a time.

Stephen

Mark's picture

I had a friend call me asking for career advice today, whom I've known for years and started helping him long before Manager Tools. We talked about his upcoming career transition, and then at the end of the call, he said how impressed he was with Manager Tools - he had been going through all the casts. [He just knew me as a consultant with good connections.]

And he said (mind you, he was a very successful church pastor before he was a marketing manager for an entire country for a Fortune 100 firm), "you know, 2,000 years ago, Jesus realized that he needed help spreading the gospel, and got together some disciples. You ever think you might need some folks out spreading the word for you?"

Wendii, you can be first with a post like that.

Mark