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February 19 2014


Handling Operation: What Would Socrates Do?

Handling Operation: What Would Socrates Do?

The Value of Performance Direction

As we turn the corner and head into the last months of 2011, a lot of companies will begin the process of evaluating how good employees performed against anticipations. For many, it is an institutional ritual that really must be performed to satisfy a deadline on the HR calendar. For the others, it is an opportunity to increase the effectiveness of human money and direct additional development. Handling operation is an essential management discipline - ensuring employees understand the company's scheme, how occupation duties link to special goals and determining the extent to which attempts translated into quantifiable effects. Performance administration systems undertake many kinds, from free style narratives and examine the box competence lists to more sophisticated MBO procedures. No matter how it is done, the aim of any performance management program would be to maximize individual performance in the pursuance of business aims. In essence, great performance direction is a set of interactions that transcend the specific procedures used.

Learning from the Best

So, where does Socrates fit in to all of this and what can this iconic philosopher and master educator teach us about performance management? Most of us remember Socrates (and his pupil, Plato) as required reading in philosophy course. In modern times, and outside of the academic setting, Socrates has a great deal to teach us about uncovering the facts through sense, introspection and constructive dialogue. Not surprisingly, these happen to be key components of effective performance management. Socrates used a technique known as the Socratic Approach - a type of question that attracts learning from within. He enhanced the quality of thinking in others through sound reasoning and insight, and in the process, led people to the truth Leadership Communication without telling them. This is what a great coach does - helps you reach your potentiality by further developing the abilities that already exist. Human functionality is a function of conscience thought and actions, where thinking drives conduct and conduct drives results.

Comprehending the Procedure

Too often, efficiency management discussions are restricted to reviewing results, activities and the justification for differences to strategy. What we want to achieve is an open dialogue that supports unrestricted curiosity, constructive comments, probing concerns, and tough assumptions. These are typical behaviours demoed in a true learning organization.

If we want to enhance the functionality of the organization, we must focus on the performance of the person. This is attained by engaging in a rewarding, intellectual and non-confrontational dialogue to help workers better analyze and diagnose their own performance while identifying what needs to be done to get to the next degree.

Using the Method

The 4 categories of questions listed below supply a message board for productive exchange in exploring believing, behavior and results; these questions can be changed to fit a specified set of states. The important point to remember is that questions like these should be implemented in regular discussions to: challenge premise and beliefs, gain perspective and comprehension, develop concepts and evaluate outcomes:

Getting Comprehension & Outlook

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 Beliefs & Premises

Are there other explanations for what happened?
What observations support your beliefs?
How much is logic and how much is emotion?
Are you theorizing or do you know?
Given your beliefs, what would happen if....?
What occurs if your premises are erroneous?
Developing Notions

Have we ever considered this approach before?
How does your thought fit into the strategy?
Are there any hazards or unknowns that should be valued?
What are the ideas and reactions of other stakeholders?
What do we already know about this subject?
If completely executed what would this look like?
Need amount of assurance do you have in.....?
What questions do we need to inquire?
Assessing Outcomes

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 unintentional effects?
How does this consequence impact ....?
What is the value of...?
Who needs to know about this?
Closing Ideas

An organization develops and grows at the same speed as its employees. One means to accelerate development is through a more powerful performance management process. Performance management is a crucial action that should take place every day of the week through constant and constructive conversation. Employees at all levels can improve the quality of their thinking by asking the right questions and drawing out the potential in others. The finest place to begin the journey is by asking the question: "What would Socrates do"?

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