For some people, life is like a series of somewhat unpredictable interactions that just happen to them – and can lead to benefits or tragedies. They react to what the environment “allows” rather than create the environment they would like to experience. However, occasionally, we also see someone who always seems to “get what they want” and appears to lead the environment rather than be constrained by it.
How does this happen?
What do they have that others do not?
The key differences between leaders and followers are mindset and planned behaviour.
People who successfully manage the behavioural environment invest time and energy reflecting on HOW they should behave to lead the environment and adapt their approach as they interact with others. This way they draw followers into their dialogue and actions in a way that generates the outcomes they are seeking. Thinking about the people involved in advance and confidently displaying considered behaviours can set the mood of an interaction (meeting, discussion, review etc.) in a way that adjusts how participants perceive the situation (The media do this all the time with the tone and content of voice-overs and which images they display as do well-targeted advertisements).
Well yes, but potentially highly successful and not necessarily wrong…
If you set the behavioural environment to take advantage of others for your own benefit, clearly this is inappropriate and immoral (and diminishes trust leading to conflict- see Figure 1 above). However, if your focus is to create mutual benefits for all parties, then such “manipulation” is positive.
Imagine having a catalyst that could assist you to positively manipulate the behavioural environment for greater awareness of those present and focus the engagement on a common shared set of outcomes. Utopia? No … a (potential) reality…
Deliberately incorporating behavioural metaphors through reflective conversation cycles can enhance creativity and build rich insights into how to optimise interactions and idea generation. This new concept aligns behaviour with purpose to combine simplicity, a trusting and sharing environment, creative metaphor and constructive conversation. A series of metaphor based card games has been developed that recent research has shown to enable people to engage in constructive and non-political conversations about which behaviours will generate the desired outcomes. Participants intuitively engage with each other to develop positive interactions which generate trust which inturn increase knowledge transfer and collaboration and ultimately enhance performance (Figure 1).
Having such Conversations that Matter about what behaviour is and is not appropriate in each situation leads to better outcomes. Not conversing about behaviour creates the opportunity to misunderstand each other an inappropriate mix of behaviours that are not aligned with the desired outcomes… Not the best place to end up!
Are you actively discussing which behaviours are appropriate in your different contexts.
Are you leveraging the full set of behaviours and aligning them with your outcomes?
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