How do you optimize someone’s productivity? That’s what we’re focusing on today, as we continue our look at metaprograms, the filters that determine much of our behavior. In earlier posts in this series we looked at how to determine:
- if someone is moving toward or away from things
- has an internal or external frame of reference
- how a person sorts themselves in relation to other people
- what it takes to convince someone
- whether a person is motivated by possibility or necessity
Another metaprogram is a person’s working style. Everyone has his own strategy for work. Some people are not happy unless they’re independent. They have great difficulty working closely with other people and can’t work well under a great deal of supervision. They have to run their own show. Others function best as part of a group. We call their strategy a cooperative one. They want to share responsibility for any task they take on. Still others have a proximity strategy, which is somewhere in between. They prefer to work with other people while maintaining sole responsibility for a task. They are in charge but not alone.
If you want to get the most out of your employees, or your children, or those you supervise, figure out their work strategies — as we discussed in the previous metaprogram — the ways in which they’re most effective. Sometimes you’ll find an employee who is brilliant but a pain in the neck. He always has to do things his way. Now he just might not be cut out to be an employee. He may be the kind of person who has to run his own business, and sooner or later he probably will if you do not provide and avenue of expression. If you have a valuable employee like this, you should try to find a way to maximize his/her talents and give him/her as much autonomy as possible. If you make him part of a team, he’ll drive everyone crazy. But if you give him as much independence as possible, he can prove invaluable. That’s what the new concepts of entrepreneurship are all about.