by Jeremy Campbell, CEO Black Isle Group

This week some of the team at Black Isle Group met the American Leadership guru Richard Boyatzis. He sees the world differently. He believes that many of the practices in modern people management do the opposite of what’s intended. Instead of helping people to change and improve performance, they make matters worse.

He describes a lot of what’s done today – from appraisal to feedback to goal setting to MBAs – as “coaching for compliance”. He wants us to “Coach for Compassion”. Instead of focussing negatively on “fixing the problems” people have, focus on helping people realise dreams.

He grounds his theory in recent research from brain science. He talks of two processes which occur in our neurological systems – positive emotional attractors (PEAs) and negative emotional attractors (NEAs).

“It is the positive emotional attractor which allows people to thrive and flourish,” he says.

Stimulating the PEA delivers change. Stimulating the NEA doesn’t.

Missing key moments in a coaching situation and even getting questions in the wrong order can turn “a possibly motivating situation into a guilt inducing grilling”. The annual appraisal too often demotivates rather than inspires…..

He claims, developing a personal vision for success “is neurologically and emotionally” the most effective way to deliver behavioural change. Dreams not goals.

Meeting Richard with our clients was a fascinating experience. It is always good to challenge the groupthink of the present.

At Black Isle Group, we believe that much of the current approach to leadership and people development isn’t working.  Research into the sector, shows that around 75% of CEOs don’t think they get value from their current programmes.  That’s why we have developed a new approach called “The Big Approach”.

We agree with Richard. Now is the time to think differently if we really want to change behaviours and deliver results. Anyone who wants a conversation about cracking this conundrum please just message me……….

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