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What’s your attitude to rules?

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

The continuing economic uncertainty requires a focusing on productivity and efficiency while ensuring higher levels of customer service. These managers need to be skillful at motivating their people while ensuring that underperformance is assertively addressed. But a manager’s motivational drivers can get in the way.

Before the global financial crises, poor performance was an issue but not really a major concern for most clients because turnover and margins were good. The main issue was improving communication and setting clear expectations from the top.

Now, in the post-recession era, the focus is falling onto managers and their ability to improve performance while keeping their teams engaged. For some managers the changes in pressure are very uncomfortable. For others, it is just a matter of applying basic principles in a more robust manner. What is the difference between the managers who can adjust and those who struggle?

As with many work-related issues the motivational profiling and assessment can shed some light on this issue. The Inventory of Work Attitude and Motivation (iWAM) has a number of interesting distinctions that highlight people’s attitude to rules.

Rule Structure

What are we are motivated by when it comes to telling ourselves and others what to do? In the iWAM there 48 traits but this article will focus on the four in the section on ‘Rule Structure’:

Assertiveness – how motivated are you to tell others what to do?

For example: “I have rules for me, I have rules for you and I’m happy to tell you what they are”.

Indifference – how much to you care about whether others comply with rules or not? For example: “I have rules for me and I don’t really care about you”.

Compliance – how motivated are you to discover the rules and then comply with them? For example: “I want to know what the rules are so I can be a good role model”.

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