In the early 90’s, I discovered a management training/development organization called Resource Associates Corp. that was based near Reading, PA.
Their money making focus was basically the sale of leadership, management, sales and customer service training materials to consultants (resellers) like me. What was interesting about their program was not so much their materials, but their training/development philosophy.
Their core approach focused on attitudes or habits of thinking as a key link to positive behavior or skill development. Coincidentally, I recently attended a seminar for HR professionals where the speaker (from Axiogenics) espoused a similar philosophy. He said that development programs focusing on behaviors and not the way people think tend to be ineffective.
In coaching people as a business psychologist since the mid 80's, I always felt it was important to focus less on behavior, and more on people’s core beliefs and why they are important to them.
Once you can expose less potent or self-defeating attitudes, it makes it easier to challenge faulty assumptions and help people experiment with and internalize more effective practices. It is also noted that psychological profiling and/or 360 surveys can speed the impetus for exposing faulty thinking habits.
Some examples of potentially counterproductive attitudes:
Now, all of the above attitudes may have a valid or effective aspect in some circumstances, but clearly not in others.
The point is it’s too often more difficult to enable effective behavior changes by just emphasizing what people do or don’t do.
Dr. Mickey Fineberg is the Managing Partner of Delta Consultants, a business psychology firm based in King of Prussia, PA. Dr. Mickey has been assessing and developing professionals, managers and executives for 30 years. His clients are diverse public, PE and family businesses.Print Article