How many times have you said, “I’m going to kick off in a minute!”?
Think about when you might have said or felt this. It is usually when you are dissatisfied with someone’s performance and you would like it to change.
Now think back to a situation where someone has shouted at you, maybe they refused to listen to your point of view. Maybe they didn’t understand the back story that led to where things ended up.
How inclined were you to help that shouting person?
If we don’t respond positively to people shouting or being aggressive towards us, why assume that others will do as we wish because we got up in their grill? Occasionally we may find that people do what we want just to get us out of their face. So, if the solution is simple and we don’t wish to build any sort of relationship with that person, maybe some aggression will work. The result is not guaranteed, and we will soon earn a reputation that is less than positive.
So why do so many managers see aggression as a sign of strength?
Furthermore, why do so many directors still look for this in their recruits?
Reciprocity is a simple social and behavioural concept that is often overlooked once we get into our place of work. The concept is that people give back the sort of treatment they have received. So, if you are aggressive in your requests for your staff to perform, they will be equally aggressive in their non-compliance with your request. However, if you do something positive for your team members, they will respond with positive support.
Now, before you dash to the kitchen to make them a cup of tea, sustained performance requires more than superficial niceties.
Buying an employee a few drinks on a night out, or bringing in pastries on a Friday does not undo a disrespectful relationship the rest of the time. However, simply asking an employee what they want out of their career and what help you can offer to get them there will deliver huge results.
And remember, the key is reciprocity, the relationship is reciprocal. You get what you give, but you don’t give just to get.
Think of the long-term outcome being more of a symbiotic relationship.
This applies not just to your employees as a manager, but also to the people who visit your workplace to work for you. The way these people are addressed by your team will influence their performance.
Holding a simple workshop with your team that demonstrates this concept can deliver tremendous value, especially if you follow it up with positive, constructive leadership behaviours.