Creating Effective People


Apr, 2016

Behavior Crucial for Performance

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My friend Bing was a lady of many philosophies. When we met at the NLP Master Practitioner program many years ago, we gravitated to each other like bees to honey. I learnt her very first gem of wisdom “reward the behavior that you want”. I continue to use this in my life today.

Most people don’t realize how much they are reinforcing behaviors, that they don’t want. A manager who walks in late for a meeting gets an update from the chairperson of the meeting, as to what he has just missed. WRONG!!! The latecomer has just been reinforced to come in late again at the next meeting.

What would happen if the chairperson ignored the latecomer? He would find it difficult to dovetail into the discussion that has started. This level of discomfort is a feeling that would deter him from doing the same behavior again.

A Trainer asks participants to move to the front while leaving the back seats vacant for latecomers. Guess what? Participants will turn up late again the next day as they know they’ll get the back seats. Imagine if the Trainer allowed people to choose their seats (people naturally pick the ones in the back) leaving the ones in front for latecomers?

First Step:

Make a checklist of things that are not working and think about how you can reinforce behavior to get what you want

As a change management consultant working in a variety of companies over the last 14 years I have observed that the relationship between HR Director and CEO is paramount to attain success.

HR strategies need to be aligned with business strategy. In turn the employees need to be developed in time to take the baton and run with it. When we align human capital to take advantage of the business’s potential yield curve we achieve improved bottom line results.

Most often I hear grunts about HR being more administrative rather than strategic. This impression results in HR being bypassed by business channels as a hindrance rather than a conduit to success.

Second step:

Position HR as strategic to the business. Assess if the team needs to be up skilled with professional expertise to assist business build successful people.

A very crucial step to improving performance is creating a common language in the company. Whether it be feedback mechanisms or models to diffuse conflict, these need to be cascaded down the line to employees at all levels.

Technical jargon that associate employees with doing a behavior when needed, leads to people not taking things personally. For instance when a person is associated in conflict I teach my participants to “step out” by floating to the ceiling.

This allows the person some perspective apart from the humor of being up on the ceiling while the conflict is occurring.

Today when I say “float to the ceiling” I am the recipient of smiles and laughter. It brings a lighter state to the situation at hand and the problem is now seen with clarity.

Third step:

Place resources to establish a common language in the company so the culture change is created organically. People take more ownership and begin to be accountable for their actions.

Sylvia Fernandes is the Founder & CEO of VIA Frontiers established in Sydney in 2002 and is currently based in Singapore. She is a corporate NLP trainer and consults in creating effective people in the Asia Pacific Region.

She is also the author of Bye Bye Black Cat – Turn Your Luck Around And Realise Opportunities available here at only $9.90. Go to or email us at [email protected] to connect with us.