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February 23 2014


Handling Operation: What Would Socrates Do?

Managing Operation: What Would Socrates Do?

The Worthiness of Performance Management

Many companies begin the procedure for assessing how good employees performed against expectations, as we change the corner and head in to the last months of 2011. For some, it's an institutional rite that has to be performed to meet a deadline on the HR calendar. For others, it is an chance to improve the effectiveness of human funds and guide additional development. Handling functionality is a fundamental direction discipline - ensuring employees understand the business's scheme, how job responsibilities link to special objects and ascertaining the extent to which attempts interpreted into quantifiable effects. Performance management systems undertake several Developing resilience types, from freestyle stories and examine the box competency lists to more detailed MBO processes. No matter how it's done, the target of any efficiency management system would be to optimize individual performance in the pursuit of business goals. So, the real value in any performance management process is the exchange of information that takes place between an employee and his/her supervisor - a dialogue that not only covers what went right and what went wrong, but also uncovers the root cause of performance problems, the required corrective activities, advice / guidance on different strategies, suggestions for career development and the agreed upon actions to close indentified gaps. In essence, good performance management is a set of interactions that transcend the particular processes used.

Learning from the Finest

Most of us remember Socrates (and his pupil, Plato) as essential reading in philosophy course. In modern times, and outside of the academic setting, Socrates has a great deal to educate us about uncovering the reality through self-examination, logic and constructive dialogue. Not astonishingly, these happen to be vital elements of successful performance management. Socrates applied a technique known as the Socratic Method - a sort of questioning that draws learning from within. He enhanced the quality of thinking in others through sound reasoning and insight, and in the procedure, led folks to the truth without telling them. This is what a great trainer does - helps you reach your potentiality by further developing the abilities that already exist. Human operation is a function of conscience thought and activity, where thinking drives conduct and behavior drives results.

Understanding the System

Too frequently, performance management discussions are restricted to reviewing activities, outcomes and the rationale for variances to plan. What we need to achieve is an open dialogue that encourages unrestricted fascination, helpful comments, probing questions, and difficult premises. These are typical behaviors demoed in a true learning organization.

We must focus on the functionality of the individual, if we want to improve the functionality of the organization.

Applying the Procedure

The 4 categories of questions recorded below supply a discussion group for productive exchange in investigating conduct, presuming and outcomes; these questions can be altered to fit a given set of conditions. The important point to remember is that questions like these should be applied in regular discussions to: gain outlook and comprehension, challenge assumption and beliefs, develop concepts and evaluate results:

Gaining Outlook & Understanding

What is causing this to happen?
How did you come to this decision?
What other perspectives did you consider
Are there any unanswered questions at this point?
Has this occured before?
Why is this needed?
Tell me more about.....?
Challenging Premises & Beliefs

Are there other explanations for what occured?
What observations support your beliefs?
How much is logic and how much is emotion?
Are you supposing or do you understand?
Given your beliefs, what would happen if....?
What happens if your assumptions are erroneous?
Developing Concepts

Have we ever contemplated this approach before?
How does your idea fit into the scheme?
Are there any risks or unknowns that should be assessed?
What are the reactions and thoughts of other stakeholders?
What do we already know about this subject?
What would this look like if fully executed?
Need degree of assurance do you have in.....?
What questions do we need to ask?
Evaluating Results

Is this how you expected it to turn out?
What would you do differently next time?
What can we learn from this?
What were the intended and unintended consequences?
How does this consequence impact ....?
What is the importance of...?
Who needs to know about this?
Closing Notions

An organization develops and grows at the same rate as its employees. One way to accelerate development is through a more powerful performance management procedure. Performance management is a vital activity that should take place every day of the week through continuous and constructive conversation. Employees at all levels can enhance the quality of their thinking by asking the appropriate questions and drawing out the possibility in others.

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