Developing Your People

an article by Barb McEwen

The age-old adage that a manager's job is 'getting superior results through other people' remains true today. After so many years, organizations continue to espouse this theory without the knowledge or the tools to effectively put it into practice.

"Changing human behavior without understanding motivation is like trying to start a stalled car by kicking it."
Ernest Dichter

Today, we have a new kind of worker doing a new kind of work. In the past few decades people's attitudes towards work have undergone a considerable change. Not recognizing or acknowledging this change is an invitation to fail. What is needed for today is a new approach, a basic change in management concepts.

"The more a manager understands how people are motivated, the more success they will have in producing results."
Kurt Hanks, Motivating People

Being a successful manager starts with understanding your employees - and yourself.

Each of us perceives the world from a particular point of view. Our life experiences are spectacles that subtlety distort our sight. When it comes to developing high performers, it is important to see clearly. Manag

ers must understand not only what their own motivators are, but also what motivates their employees. One size does not fit all, and dangling the carrot isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

What Managers Think
Employees Want
What Employees
Really Want
1 Good Pay 5
2 Job Security 4
3 Promotion and Growth 6
4 Good Working Conditions 7
5 Interesting Work 1
6 Tactful Discipline 10
7 Loyalty to Employees 8
8 Full Appreciation of Work Done 2
9 Help with Personal Problems 9
10 Feeling of Being in on Things 3
Study by Kenneth Kovoch, reported in the Advanced Management Journal

Managers must constantly remember that employees rarely, if ever, perceive things the way a manager does. Just because a person does the same actions that you do doesn't mean that he or she is motivated by the same needs.

PowerPoint images
by Profound Backgrounds

The problem is that we all have blind spots. Especially when it comes to motivating our staff and encouraging high performance.

Let us help you uncover your blind spots. We will equip your people with the skills they need to succeed. Organizations, to their delight, are finding that developing their employees appropriately has a positive impact on the bottom line. The initial cost for training and coaching is modest compared to the benefits received.

An added bonus is that coaching has a tremendous trickle-down effect. When people learn new skills they are often anxious to share their insights. Coaching improves both people and organizations. Cogent coaching will help your employees:

  • Get a broader overview of what makes a business successful
  • Understand their superior's work needs in order to create value and minimize problems
  • Understand the dynamics of motivation
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Become stronger team players
  • Work towards a higher level of achievement
  • Resolve conflict
  • Contribute ideas and volunteer for projects more readily
  • To create an enthusiastic and supportive organizational culture
  • Learn what is required as an ambitious career person
  • Enjoy an improved quality of work life

At 20/20 Executive Coaching we are here to help you develop your people. We support all levels of leader, from front-line staff through top management. We find ways to positively reinforce good work and we also encourage regular feedback that helps look at ways to improve or redesign an individual's contribution in order to meet changing organizational needs. Successful coaching is about closing the gap between where your people are and where you need them to be.

Contact us today.


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Barb McEwen is a Master Executive Coach and Organizational Strategist who works with corporations and individuals worldwide. As founder of 20/20 Executive Coaching and 20/20 Executive Women she has spent the past twelve years working with high potential individuals to help them hone their leadership and management skills. Contact Barb at