Don’t waste time on personality.
Fix the behavior.
Behavior, not personality
Organizational change and employee engagement are all the buzz. Ask any university professor in the know, and they’ll tell you it’s all about behavior, not personality, as we’ve been told time and again. Behavior trumps personality every time.
For so long now we’ve been taught to ask ‘Why’ in order to delve into the reasons people do what they do. But that’s a pretty complex question, isn’t it? When did you ever get a simple and clear answer? People rarely know exactly why they do what they do. And even when they do know, how hard is it to change that deep rooted ‘Why’? It’s hard, right?
Let’s reverse engineer it. How did the ‘Why’ get there in the first place? Was it a pill that we were given at birth? Was the behavior that led us to ask ‘Why’ inherited from our parents? Was it something we’d observed, or heard? Did we hear it from our parents, friends, or teachers? And the most important question of all: did we need to have it reinforced by actual experiences? Of course we did!
If someone said “Don’t believe all salesmen, they are liars” and you met a bunch of honest salesmen, would your values and beliefs about salesmen continue to be jaded by that stereotype? What about “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”? You believed that and you tried, tried again but you failed every time. Would you keep on trying or give up? That depends. Did you have support that said “Keep trying”, or did people tell you “You should stop”?
Culture has come to be seen as the personality of groups. Yet the definition of culture is observed behavior exhibited by a group in response to a specific situation or circumstance. The definition doesn’t say culture is the personality of the group or organization. It is the observed behavior. It is the behavior that the majority of the group exhibit when faced with the same or similar situation. It is the automatic response they are all observed to give to that situation.
If all I ever observed in those around me was the same response to a specific situation and if I didn’t have any other response or behavior available to me, then obviously I would assume that there is only one response I could adopt and I would turn it into a habit over time. Unless someone teaches me a new behavior, based on understanding my intention and finding a better way for me to fulfill this intention.
“Culture is an observed behavior shared by a group. To document a culture you document the behavior – using AccuMatch”
For cultural change to happen, first we need to observe the behavior. We cannot observe personality. Personality might say you are bad. But going beyond personality, we uncover an intention and it tells a different story. Understanding the intention and focusing on a new behavior would shift the culture.
If you want to bring about change in a person or an organization, you need to map their current behaviors and identify those that serve them well, and those that need to change. Then you need to train new habits.
AccuMatch gives you the tools to make this happen.
An army lesson
The military is ready to take anyone. Of course, they have certain requirements but they don’t just rely on personality tests and they don’t ask you a thousand Whys. What they do is take you in and train you.
They get you to repeat the same thing over and over again until it becomes second nature, an automatic response. They make you develop habits, behavioral responses to situations. If you conducted a personality test on someone before they joined the military and after they finished training, you may get different results but would they matter?
They would not. What would matter is that people who have completed the training will behave exactly as trained. They’ll be able to execute a task exactly as taught and practiced time and time and time again. In short, they will have changed their behavior. They will have a new automatic programming.