Establishing Trust & Authenticating Value are the two most important aspects of leading sustainable positive change through people in any organisation.
Through inherent psychological processes and life experiences, we are all fundamentally conditioned to behave according to our underlying attitudes, values and beliefs.
Like an ice-berg, our visible behaviours are clear for all to see (although not often clear enough to ourselves), but beneath the water, our motivations are continuously in operation and driving our visible behaviour. A common example of this can be seen by the majority of car-drivers on the roads who don’t consistently stay under the clear speed limits. Even though the required behaviour of travelling within the speed limit is enforced by law, visible through signage and known to people, often the underlying attitudes of road users such as ‘I’m in a hurry so the rules don’t apply today’ or ‘I’ve never been caught out before, so the chances are I won’t at all’ result in the unsafe behaviour of travelling above speed limits.
The reality is that this phenomenon is prevalent in the majority of people across a number of cultures and situations. To believe that these processes somehow ‘switch off’ as soon as people enter the workplace is a huge error. In fact, the workplace often provides the fuel to increase personal motivations to behave in non-conforming ways.
Traditionally, organisational leaders and management teams try to address non-conformance through continuously policing it. This involves huge time, cost, resources and energy to devise procedures, documents, sign-offs, training and policing structures just to try and maintain compliance.
While compliance and policies are critical, the problem is that many organisations solely rely on this approach and focus too much on hammering the message home. Importantly, the biggest problem with the policing approach is not the huge cost, but the reality that people naturally strengthen their resistant attitudes as a result, and will head in a different direction at the slightest chance. And this is perfectly normal human behaviour.
It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings.