PRO-vocative IDEAS from PRO
President's Resource Organization
We are pleased to send you this PRO-vocative IDEAS e-letter. Each issue brings you a Thought PRO-voking Idea designed to help you run your business better. If you don't want to receive these monthly emails, just click the Remove button below.
These ideas don't come out of an Ivory Tower, but from the real-life experience of entrepreneurs like you. At PRO, Presidents' Resource Organization, the owners of small businesses gather monthly to share problems, and work towards solutions, based on their own lessons learned. PRO members move their companies to the next level through this peer group interfacing.
Here's an example of a PRO-vocative idea and the discussion leading to it:
I have a key employee who is very productive, but sometimes dominates the organization, both his subordinates and his peers. What can I do about this egocentric person so he doesnt destroy the organization?
PRO Advisory Board Recommendations:
Larry: Ive had similar problems arise in my company, and
I think the first step is to try to understand the origins. This has
helped me to build a new working relationship with the problem individual
and also has jogged me into more and better mentoring. These situations
are usually caused by pressures in the employees personal or work
life. When we try together to understand and recognize the cause thats
pushed the ego out of control, its that much easier to work on
controlling or eliminating the action that generates the incorrect behavior.
Sally: I try to have my own behavior harmonize with the behavior
of my troubled employee. My objective is to improve communication and
to create the opportunity to reshape the offending elements. As one
example, I had someone who was grating on everyones nerves through
boastfulness. My response was to ask publicly for a description of one
or two of their accomplishments in more detail.
Jim: I probe. I try to determine what part of the disturbing
behavior I can influence, what part of the bragging I can get them to
tone down, but I know I have to figure out what is real and what is
imagined, both in the concerns of the problem individual and of his
Tom: One things for sure: criticism does not work with
a person who has a large ego. I believe it is better to calmly and professionally
recognize the behavior and discuss it in an open and non-judgmental
George: I have had success by reinforcing the behavior I would
rather see. This includes rewarding and acknowledging the right behavior.
As Tom said, I explain why these actions, the right actions, are satisfying
and productive. Most likely, the right actions are sharing credit with
others for an accomplishment or a success, rather than hogging the credit.
Linda: I set a limit as to the amount of incorrect behavior we will tolerate. I talk to the offender and tell him or her that a failure to consider the feelings of others that goes beyond acceptable limits will require us to make a change. I put the burden on the guilty party to adapt, and that also includes a situation with a customer or vendor whose personal behavior has gone out of bounds. First you have to talk, then you have to be ready to take action.
An ego can be a very beneficial asset. Ego-driven people normally make
major contributions to the organization; but if they get out of hand
they can become "organizational destroyers." So your first
issue is, can you retrain these people to hold their egos in check,
and your second issue is to articulate to them what will happen in the
event they cant.
PRO members tell us at meetings that they basically discuss the incorrect
behavior with the egotist, and try to help them recognize how to use
their ego in positive ways. You must be careful not to accept the incorrect
behavior, which reinforces an acceptance in the individuals mind.
You must discuss the incorrect behavior at the time it occurs, if you
hope to create a positive change. People generally want to know what
is acceptable and what is not, and they have to recognize where the
limits are that may cause a change in your organization.
Ask yourself if you have good people leaving your company because of other people who are difficult to work with? Do you have a morale problem because of difficult people? Yes, big ego people can be great, but they can destroy. Be open with them and work for personal change. If this does not work, you must make the organizational change.
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Just because you’re in business for yourself doesn't mean you have to be in business by yourself!