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How to engage your people with Compassionate Power

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

There is now plenty of evidence that we are entering a skills crises where attracting and retaining top talent is becoming more challenging. What are you doing to engage and keep your best people while continuing to be firm and fair with any underperformance?

The current uncertainty in the economy means businesses need to remain flexible and agile. This means you need to be able to make tough decisions and change that may affect people’s job security. However whilst people may have come to accept that this uncertainty is becoming the norm as many businesses struggled to survive, recent scientific studies show that if there is a lack of trust in senior management, people will leave as soon as the opportunity arises. Unfortunately, it is often the best people who are first to go because they know what they are worth and the current labour market means that they may make a move sooner rather than later.

The latest thinking, based on significant research by Amy Cuddy, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, is that leaders need to exercise a balance of compassion and power and interestingly it needs to be in that order. Amy, and her colleagues in the Behavioural Science department, have discovered that 90% of our judgements about our positive or negative impressions of people around us rely on whether we believe that they are warm, caring and trustworthy i.e. “What are their intentions towards me?” and do they have the strength and power to take action, i.e. “Is he or she capable of acting on those intentions?”

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