Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 81

The best know decisions involving people should always be about ; never about the person.

Leaders have to make tough decisions, and many times those tough decisions involve people.  Sometimes they involve bringing new people onto the team, while at others they are about making the team smaller and reducing staff.  Both situations are challenging, as no matter what you do, the impact of the decisions made will be felt by many.

One important lesson for all leaders in this arena is that all people decisions need to be about personnel, and must never be seen as being personal.  This is an important point that is easy to remember, but often tough to put into practice.

The merit of this idea is clear: when sharing either very good or very bad news with others, we want to make sure that we are focused on the job at hand, not the people themselves.  This allows information to be shared that, while still emotionally charged, takes much of the potential anger, fear, or anxiety, out of the initial discussion.

In addition, once we talk about the changes in personnel that are being made to better the program and/or agency, we need to make sure we end on a high note, explaining that we will provide support to the person moving forward.  This allows for the decision to be based on personnel\l need, without discounting the needs of the person involved.

"Personnel, not personal" can be a tough mantra to live by.  Hiring and firing decisions are rarely smooth, and because of relationships built up (or torn down) with and by staff members, it can be difficult to not slip into the personal realm.

That being said, we're more likely to be able to keep lasting relationships (not to mention build capacity for making appropriate tough decisions), when we decide with research, rather than relationships.

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