When you manage the performance of your direct reports, do you focus on behavior or do you focus on attitude? Or on both?

A behavior is observable, measurable, and specific. An attitude is an interpretation of a behavior.

If you ask 10 people to describe to you a behavior, all of them will give you exactly the very same answer – for example: “she arrived at 8:14 am on Monday, she arrived at 8:28 on Tuesday, etc.” – this is objectivity.

But if you ask them to describe to you an attitude, you will get 10 different answers – for example: “she is a lazy person,” or, “she is an unreliable worker,” etc., – this is subjectivity.

In other words, if you focus on your employees’ attitude when you manage their performance, you are being subjective – and subjectivity is useless (not to mention misleading) in performance management.

But when you only focus on your employees’ behavior, you are being objective.

Remember: By definition, performance is the sum of behaviors plus results.

If you want to effectively manage the performance of your direct reports, you must focus ONLY on behavior – and you must erase from your vocabulary the word / concept Attitude.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I’d love to here from you, just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think.

See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero, Publisher
May 5, 2009. Copyright: All rights reserved
Leadership Monthly Skill is published on the first Tuesday of every month.

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