In my last blog (if you missed it, check it out here), I shared with you the first part of the story about John and David, an anecdote that witnessed how *** can be a driver of change.
In this sequel, I will give you an alternative perspective on how money can also be an effective change driver.
This video has nothing to do with my story – it just made me think: Do they really mean it?
Blog continued…scene from the “influencing training” course I attended some time ago:
On the next training day, the trainer asked John and David to perform another exercise called ‘bridging’. The purpose of this exercise was to negotiate a salary increase for imaginary staff only by using the personal influencing style (mixing active listening, soliciting opinions and feelings, and asking for help).
This time, the meek and introverted David negotiated admirably. He listened and built a good relationship with the negotiating counterpart (acted by the trainer). His language and his manner were genuinely helpful and unthreatening. During the conversation he presented very concrete numbers and mathematically explained how the salary increase will motivate his team and bring additional revenue and profits to the company. As a result of his “show-me-the-money” approach, a compromise was reached and salaries agreed.
John negotiated next. Now as far as John was concerned, negotiation was a contest. He did everything the instructor had taught. He appeared to listen, asked opinions and feelings, he even asked for help – all the while manipulating proceedings cleverly to the point where the trainer was left with only two options: agree or surrender. Inevitably the exercise ended in deadlock.
The trainer again asked for feedback. There was discussion and debate until surprisingly, a diminutive voice spoke from the back. “I think the words were OK but it didn’t sound as though John really meant it.” It was David – for once he had everyone’s attention – “Actually John, I wasn’t even convinced you were really listening to the trainer at all or that you cared remotely how he felt. You were just going through the motions. Did you mean anything you said? Did you really mean it?”
And here we are with the second lesson learnt: money surely is a driver for some companies to change their attitudes and behaviours. Profits will certainly be on the priority list of strategic imperatives for top management. However, irrespective of the chosen change driver – either *** or money – unless leaders lead by example and ensure that management’s commitment is visible and sincere – change will never happen. If leaders wish and need to make a strategy stick, they should “walk the talk” and they should really mean it!
Does your management stand by the strategy that they are implementing? Are they aware of the effect that their decisions have on the employees? Do they really mean it?