I was watching Supernanny yesterday, well more like it was on and I happened to be in the room. If you haven’t seen the show it tells the story of various families who have incredibly poorly behaved children. Supernanny comes swooping in, observes all the mayhem, gives solutions, observes some more, then leaves. At the end they all live happily ever after.
What struck me was something the mother said. It was something to the effect of I have to live with who I am on the inside every day, and that’s something I can’t change.
It stopped me in my tracks. What we’re trying to do as leaders or as human resource professionals is change behavior without addressing who that person is on the inside. Without understanding what factors make that employee behave in a certain way. It’s only through developing a relationship with that person that you can start to understand what might motivate him or her to start or stop a behavior.
I don’t have all the answers on this one. What do YOU think? Can you ever change who you are in the inside? Can a leader ever really understand who someone is so that they can change behavior?