management blog - understand staff, well understand yourself first
One of the critical areas of our management development courses is the elements we cover on understanding behaviour. We get so many comments regarding this aspect of the training including the fact that we may be using some ‘dark art’ regarding how we can understand how a person operates or how they behave and communicate.
Unfortunately, there is nothing dark about how we do this it is all based on psychology, not masses of the theory of psychology but the practical application and awareness of human behaviour in the workplace using psychology. Human beings are incredible, and we are all unique, but certain behaviour patterns can easily be linked and associated with particular preference. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychoanalyst, founded this approach within analytical psychology and his work he completed in the early part of this century is still used today in most psychometric assessment tools.
Therefore, once you are aware and know what to look for, it is relatively easy to understand behaviour and then to link it into behaviour in the workplace.
There are many different tools and questionnaires to use, but our favourite is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Once you are aware of the preferences and have it reinforced with links to human behaviour in the workplace, it can be incredibly powerful.
Carl Jung is also responsible for one of my favourite quotes:
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
I love this quote as it is so true, we have to understand ourselves before we can understand others. Most people think about themselves first which is very different of course! We have to not think about ourselves but understand ourselves. If we do this, we are much likely to start to watch and understand others.