Our Big3: Personality, Flow & Communications
We embrace the personal visions and goals, the desires and motivating traits, as well as the competencies and potentials of every single participant in our training programmes: they will become the solid foundation for their future success. Because what you want to do, like to do and can do is just more fun to pursue. And everybody knows that you will overcome obstacles more easily when you are self-motivated to reach he goal behind – simply because you will not give in so quickly: it’s the difference between “I want to…” and “I have to…”. Utilising this intrinsic motivation successfully activates the energy that’s deeply embedded in everybody’s personality – simply being the most sustainable approach to create world-class productivity.
To effectively create the learning environment leading to this result we focus our energy on three main fields of learning:
- the personality, to understand what drives a person and where his/her still uncovered potentialities are;
- the effect of flow as the result of perfect harmony between the demand of the task and hand and the person’s capacity;
- the communication as the most important tool in any leadership role.
Understanding why people behave in the way they do and how to activate their full potentiality
Every person is the summary result of his/her life: the inner core of the personality traits or motivators in combination with the social context create layer upon layer of ideas, knowledge and competencies based on the experiences he/she chooses to collect. To fully understand a person and his/her visions and driving forces in the working environment, some basic questions need to be answered:
- where are his/her preferences in what to do,
- how he/she prefers to proceed in doing it and how to communicate about it,
- i which work environment will he/she be most productive, and which factors reduce productivity significantly?
We built our approach to find answers for these questions on the research of giants in the field: the most fundamental tool for us is David McClelland’s Theory of Needs – in analysing the root causes for motivation, the three needs for power, achievement and affiliation proved to be an invaluable concept, because they are easy to understand and therefore give the possibility to quickly create first results in behavioral change. In an even more detailed analysis we like to work with Steven Reiss’ 16 Basic Desires theory, to better explain the motivational structure in different aspects of the life.
Another source of enlightenment in the field of personality analysis for us are the Big Five, especially founded in the works of Robert McCrae and Paul Costa, Jr., with its proven track record of high consistency in observations, interviews and self-descriptions across a wide range of participants of different ages and of different cultures.
In the last years Julius Kuhl’s Personality System Interactions theory (PSI) became more and more a cornerstone in our work: as a meta system combining key assumptions from different personality theories with research findings from practical studies as well as brain research, it explains people’s behaviour in a very structured and transparent way. We use it, especially its very touchable Action Control Model, to develop individual guidelines for steering the mind from idea to action and evaluation of the results, thus being able to give personalised behavioural recommendations for every single participant.
In analysis and coaching we rely on self-developed tools as well as high quality third-party tools like
- the NEOAC,
- Motivational Structure Analysis and Motivational Potentiality Analysis
- SCAN Advanced leadership diagnostic instrument.
Thanks to them we are able to quickly give a clear view on the personality and its main driving forces, as well as a detailed feedback on the quality of essential competencies in leadership and management.
To personal peak performance thanks to „flow“
When vision, driving forces and capabilities find their perfect balance, you can reach the ultimate level of performance: according to the research of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi flow is completely focussed motivation, a deep focus on nothing but the activity at hand. Maybe you already have experienced this feeling: after successfully completing a task you feel like “waking up” from complete concentration, as if the world around you would have ceased to exist while you were working. And the results are amazing. So the only question left is – how to trigger the state of flow willfully whenever demanding tasks are at hand. According to Csíkszentmihályi three conditions must be fulfilled:
- A task with clear goals to give direction and structure
- Immediate feedback to be able to adjust the own performance to changing demands
- And, most important, a perceived fit of skills and task at hand to get fully immersed in this state of energised focus
In the long run, experiencing flow regularly at work will lead to higher performance: it triggers a higher subsequent motivation to perform – and in the end consequently and joyfully practicing an activity will lead to mastery.
Hugo M. Kehr’s 3K-Model, with the goal of bringing the three components of explicitly perceived traits, implicit subconscious traits and subjective capabilities in harmony to reach intrinsic motivation, is our favourite concept for creating flow and focus. Findings from the work on the personality analysis can easily flow into this model, and be quickly supplemented to create a highly structured individual recommendation for the future career planning, optimal working environment and design of working processes.
Leading others to peak performance
To influence others, you need to find a way to touch their mind: the tool to use is communication. Leading is the business of influencing others – and there’s many levels from the quite obvious pushing by outspoken order to be followed to the art form of the nearly invisible guidance given when people follow out of their own free will. And there’s a basic rule: the less you need to forcefully push, the less energy you need to invest in motivating and controlling, and the higher the productivity and quality of the results will be. Besides the obvious joy of working in a supportive and harmonious environment, the higher productivity is the best argument to invest in competent communications.
We’re intrigued by the profound explanations and catchy pictures in the works of Paul Watzlawick, and his theory of communications with the five basic axioms create a strong foundation for our work in communications. His belief that it’s not possible to not communicate and influence, in combination with the understanding that the quality of the relationship defines the message received by the interlocutor are at the same time basic observations and nevertheless often not respected rules in the reality of daily leadership practice.
Adding to this the mind-opening and at the same time structuring models by Friedemann Schulz von Thun like his famous four sides of a message model, the basic principles of communication become easily accessible. And in combination with the knowledge about traits and needs from the analysis of the personality we can develop effective communication strategies for every individual participant – to support him in finding his individual strategy to leading in a nearly invisible but highly effective way.
And those are only a few of the roots that connect our ideas of great leadership with an effective implementation through our coaching, training and consulting sessions – thanks to the the research of giants in their field on whose shoulders today we can stand to better understand the human mind.