Leadership Skills That Are Critical To Success

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The business pages of the world’s newspapers are filled with stories about managers and executives who suddenly self destruct because of their lack of leadership skills. Individuals who were once considered to be successful ultimately fail, either ending up in a dead-end career or let go by their once seemingly loyal organization. This phenomenon is called derailment. Just as a train falls off of its tracks, this breakdown is never intentional, and it almost always causes considerable damage.

The good news is that derailment can be predicted, and even prevented, when managers are given the right leadership skills resources.

This webinar is based on Leadership Unlimited Profile, the eye-opening assessment and workshop that helps managers and leaders at all levels quickly spot the early warning signs of leadership derailment, gain rapid insight to limit those behaviors, and learn how to take control of their development before it’s too late.

Participants will learn:

  • Five key behaviors that can severely limit effectiveness.
  • What leadership skills are critical to maintain and ensure success.
  • Ways to predict and pinpoint problems that can cause career derailment.
  • How to develop and align critical competencies.
  • To create an individual personal development plan.


You should attend if you are:

  • A training or HR professional who delivers training.
  • An independent training consultant.
  • A manager who delivers or purchases training as part of their role.

Sara Lindmont: Hello everyone and welcome to today’s webinar, Leadership Skills That
Are Critical To Success hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Roger
Pearman. My name is Sara, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The
webinar will last about an hour. So if you have any questions go ahead
and type them into the chat area on your GoToWebinar control panel
and then we’ll either answer them as they come in or after the session
by email. And if you have the chat, it’ll say chat in that control panel.
There’s a little arrow. If you click on the arrow, that’ll open up that box
and you’ll see a white area in there. You can type and hit submit, and
that’ll come right over to us.
Sara Lindmont: Our presenter today is Roger Pearman. Roger is an award-winning
subject matter expert on personality, leadership and performance
effectiveness. He has served as a senior adjunct faculty and coach for
the Center for Creative Leadership. He is also the author of several well
known books including Hardwired Leadership, I’m not crazy, I’m just not
you, and Leadership Advantage. Roger is also the author of the off the
shelf assessment and workshop leadership unlimited profile, which is
the foundation of today’s webinar. So if you’re interested in delivering
this training within your organization or working with Roger further,
please contact HRDQ. Welcome Roger, and thank you so much for
joining us today.
Roger Pearman: Thanks Sara. And thanks to HRDQ for hosting today’s exploration as I
like to call it, as we take a look at derailment related issues in leadership
and management development. I’ve actually had two colleagues who’ve
worked with me over the years in the creation of this material. And I just
like to mention in passing that both of them have worked with, if you
will entrepreneurs as well as all array of businesses. Barry particularly
had been an executive in international banking. And as he moved into a
different phase of his life, helped us with looking at management
related behaviors and leadership related to behaviors. And of course,
Dan Parks in a similar fashion.
Roger Pearman: I want to make a couple of comments about the goals for this webinar in
terms of what I hope all of the folks who’ve tuned in to our conversation
today, what they will walk away with. One is that we’ll take a look at
some behaviors that severely limit effectiveness in leadership and
managerial roles, the particular leadership skills that seem critical to
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maintain the pathway towards success and the kinds of things that we
can do to predict a particular problems that prevent, that both lead to
and can prevent career derailment. How we might take a look at some
critical competencies about which individuals need to get aligned in the
arc of their career, and what does it take to make sure that the
individual development plan really works.
Roger Pearman: And one of the things that I’m particularly excited about today and
sharing this material is not only where we are with the leadership
unlimited profile and then the formidable work that HRDQ and Dan,
Barry and I have done to analyze data and to reform, if you will the
nature of the questionnaire and it’s byproducts and how it is that those
factors, connect to a very long line of research from a variety of sources
on those things that generate derailment in a person’s career. And then
we’ll talk about how to access the tools and hopefully use them. I think
of this as where we are now and now that we have done some
extensive research over the last several months where we’re going,
though the goal in both cases of leadership development profile and the
derailment prevention profile have always been the same. What are the
things that help us be successful? And what are the things that create
bumps in the road in terms of leaders and managers?
Roger Pearman: What I’d be interested in to get us into the topic is those of you who’ve
tuned in today in the chat space, if you would simply share one of the
behaviors that you’ve observed as you’ve worked with managers or
leaders, what are the kinds of behaviors that have derailed them in their
career? What is it that creates bumps in their ability to be as successful
and effective as you believe they could be or could have been? Just use
a word or phrase and just pop it in the chat box. And I’m curious just to
hear from you what you’ve seen as the kinds of things that create
problems for people in their careers. Hopefully you found the chat
space.
Sara Lindmont: Do you see those coming in, Roger?
Roger Pearman: I do not.
Sara Lindmont: I wonder if that’s a setting on your system, but let me, I’ve got a ton
here that have come in. We’ve got great participation today. So let me
read out a couple of them here. We do have arrogance times 10, it’s
from Travis. Micromanagement, it is coming up a lot. Closed feedback or
an inability to listen. Making all of the decisions alone seems to be a
theme as well. We have some not ethical. Micromanaging is definitely, I
can see a theme here as I’m coming through. And even holding back
information, untrustworthy, that kind of concept of keeping everything
to themselves and not trusting others.
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Roger Pearman: Very helpful. Thank you Sara for giving me the summary, that’s very
helpful. Thank you. When I asked this question before we ever get in to
look at research, I asked this question of folks when I engage with an
organization and I’m going to be coaching either a senior team or a
team of coaches are going to be working with their managers. And I’ll
ask, what are the kinds of behaviors that tend to really be effective and
work well in this organization? And what are the kinds of behaviors that
you’re seeing that derail individuals? And typically the list that we’ve
listed is what we hear. And in a minute, we’ll take a look at some
research of the kinds of things that data key decade after decade telling
us that particular kinds of behaviors derail individuals in their career.
Roger Pearman: And it may be a surprise to hear the following statement. And that is
many people who engage in these behaviors are not particularly aware
that those behaviors are creating trouble in their ability to lead and
manage a group of people. I’m interested, if you think about the
research that I just referred to, some of you may have seen this work
over the years. The Center for Creative Leadership headquartered in
Greensboro, North Carolina is literally just down the street from me.
And for the last 33 years, I’ve had the opportunity to participate not
only as an adjunct researcher, I’ve also worked as an adjunct coach and
a facilitator for their various programs. And the research projects that I
have participated in have been particularly extensive and looks at a
large set of data. And of course, it was the center which discovered in
the late 70s, early 80s that when talking to executives who had been
successful and also beginning to ask them what are the kinds of things
that create problems in a career, certain things began to emerge.
Roger Pearman: And while the relative importance of these things might change, the
things themselves have not. So for example, difficulty with interpersonal
relationships was really the most frequently identified issue for many,
many years. Today, difficulty in changing and adapting is referred to
more frequently as problems and can create a situation where a person
derails in their career. The whole issue of building teams and now
building and leading teams has becoming a key thing. And no surprise
that people who consistently failed to meet objectives or who are too
narrow in their functional orientation tend to derail in their career. And
as I’ve said, this research has been looked at and supported multiple
times as the Center for Creative Leadership has a worldwide reach and
probably the largest database in the world related to 360s and
personality related information.
Roger Pearman: The center is a not for profit institute, standalone institute. Has been
very generous with me over the years as I’ve researched various
questions. And this question is one that fascinates me in a couple of
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ways as a coach when I’ve stepped into situations and you look at an
individual who has so many talents and capabilities and is a true asset to
the organization. However, there are behaviors that create a lot of noise
and get in the way of their ability to be as effective as they could be
given their talents. And in some cases, the difficulty is the overplay of
behaviors rather than the underplay of behaviors. And I’ll say a little
more about that a little later. But if we put the line between the top
three and the bottom two meaning difficulty changing, building teams,
interpersonal relationships, keep those above the line and failure to
meet objectives and too narrow functional orientation below the line,
we find that it is the interpersonal dimension where the greatest
number of problems and issues are in folks being effective in their
leadership roles.
Roger Pearman: More recently, this whole question has been taken up by magazines like
Forbes, additional research from Journal of Management and a variety
of management journals. And what you see, I’ve listed as the kinds of
things that have been written about and discussed. And of course, some
of the things that participants mentioned are very much on this list as
well. And many of these issues can be summarized by things like a lack
of emotional intelligence into which people put a lot of elements in
defining emotional intelligence is itself a formidable problem. One of
the issues we found in our work is there are components of the difficulty
to change or adapt or the difficulty to build or lead a team, or difficulty
within their personal relationships. There are sub dimensions of these
things, which have a special and shouldn’t require a special focus. Just
simply talking about developing change or difficulty with change has an
array of subtopics to it that you would want to know about or
understand in order to truly do something that would make a difference
there.
Roger Pearman: And part of the work we’ve done is to help get to some of those special
factors. Let’s do something more personal, if you will, look at this list of
attributes. And for a minute, think about the two strengths for you that
really has been essential to your success. What are the two strengths
that’s really played into your success? I want you to think about that for
a minute. If you’re here today, no matter what the role is, you’ve
certainly been successful in a variety of ways. So think about it. And
now, I simply want you in the chat box to identify the number one
strength that’s enabled you to be successful to this point. What’s the
number one strength? Is it that you’ve been a very bright and driven
person or you’re fairly independent minded? Has being a team player
really been vital to you being successful? Perhaps being very results
oriented and making sure you control factors to lead to results.
Roger Pearman: Is it being very personable and fostering relationships that’s contributed,
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perhaps being creative or some notable characteristic? Perhaps you
would say being a person who challenges and who raises questions and
often has the evidence to support your point of view, perhaps that’s
been the factor. So in the chat box, just simply list the attribute that for
you has been the most critical to your success. And Sara, I’ll depend on
you to tell me what seems to be in the thread.
Sara Lindmont: Sure. Yeah. Your top three, I would say by far personable is the most
that I’m seeing coming through. And then right after that is loyal. We’re
getting a lot of people who are commenting loyal as their number one.
And then the third I would say most prominent that’s coming on today is
the team player, and the team player area.
Roger Pearman: Well, it won’t surprise you that as the work at the Center for Creative
Leadership and other places has taken a look at when do strengths
become a weakness, when do strengths actually begin to create a
distortion in a career? And you might find it interesting that as we look
at the aggregate data, we see that the strength often brings with it
some perceptions and some reactions to the strength first that are little
issues. And then over time begin to be seen as much, much bigger
issues. And as you see the shift from bright driver for example. If that is
that your primary strength, then you keep playing that particular chord.
It gets seen as being overly ambitious and then becomes interpreted as
being arrogant and insensitive. And again, looking at vast numbers of
data, these are the patterns that we’ve seen that play out in terms of
the kinds of things where strengths which have not been moderated by
other kinds of competencies and skills and practices can become
weaknesses.
Roger Pearman: So those of you who said being loyal has been a real strength, over time
it gets to be seen as not a person who’s willing to both challenge and or
promote change, and therefore begins to be seen as over managing to
extract loyalty from everybody around them. Those who think of
themselves as personable, interestingly over time get to be seen as
having their own clique’s and not very flexible with introducing new
people. And the same as having a narrow scope and therefore a block
learner. So it’s really interesting. We like to talk about our strengths and
we sometimes fail to pay attention to the way those strengths play out
over time and the kinds of issues that those can develop. Well, one of
the challenges in our assessment is that human beings are notoriously
blind to the cost of their behaviors and tend to focus only on the
benefits of their behaviors.
Roger Pearman: We’ll say, gosh, we judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their
behavior. But we fail to apply that same rule to ourselves. We fail to pay
attention to what I will call impact sensitivity, not just simply how I’m
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behaving and its benefits, but also how am I behaving that carries a cost
with it. And what is in that cost when it comes to dealing with the
people that I deal with or rely on in order to be successful? So when we
first created, knowing this about individuals and knowing this about self
rating and how notoriously challenging it is. When we first created the
leadership unlimited profile now some 20 years ago and then we
partnered with HRDQ, oh gosh, I think 10 years ago to make this
material available. The initial research we did had us identify five main
factors such as how we organize and relationship related to behaviors
and how one is a learner or not. The ways in which emotions are
managed and the way in which careers are managed.
Roger Pearman: When we did that initial research, we produced to self-report
questionnaire that gave categorical statements for interpretation. And
the categorical statements was depending on how you answered these
questions, you would get an indication of whether or not your behavior
was really going to be a blocker to your career or a staller to your
career. Or if you’re engaging in it in such a way that it could be an
accelerator to your career. We developed a facilitator guide, which is
currently available from HRDQ, a participant guide and an interpretive
guide for folks who were using this in leadership development seminars
and workshops as well as in coaching activities. And we will be creating
those materials as we move into the new tool, which is going to be
referred to as the derailment prevention profile.
Roger Pearman: Now, any of you who’ve been exposed to assessment tools know that if
you really are being sensitive to changes in culture and changes in
generational dimensions where you’re doing self-report questionnaires,
you need to update those questionnaires from time to time. Things that
seemed especially important in 2000 are not so necessarily critical in
2019, or the terms are interpreted differently. Even something as the
[vaulted 00:22:31] IQ test that we have used for generations have had
to undergo significant changes and adjustments because it changes in
culture and changes in language. So HRDQ heard our request, a pause
and take a look at the available evidence and to start asking ourselves,
what are the kinds of things that we need to be paying attention to for
new generation of managers and leaders? So we did some factor
analytic studies of the LUP data. And we went about interviewing other
executives and managers to ask them questions about what are the
kinds of things you’re seeing in careers today that tend to create
challenges for individuals.
Roger Pearman: And also things that when done well can really help a person in their
career accelerate their career opportunities. And so we did that factor
analytic study. We did multiple item analyses. And then in our case
study interviews, we began to match up and reorganize the information.
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We, for example, cross referenced all of this with the research I showed
you earlier. For example, in dealing with teams, we have broken the
elements related to teams to a couple of areas. The same thing with
relationships or what tends to be critical to success in a career such that
you understand the role of work focus and working with others, et
cetera. So as we did this analysis and we identified the new scales, we
organized them into two huge dimensions, work related and selfmanagement factors. And as we did this work, again we checked it
against a number of sources to make sure that we were creating an
assessment that would be easy to complete and would provide reliable
and valid and as accurate as possible data about how a person’s
behavior was going to impact the arc of their career.
Roger Pearman: So as you see on the screen, the work related factors that we’ve
identified when we look at work focus, of course, it makes sense to
follow through and measuring quality of work and the distribution of
work among others is very important. And as a number of you
identified, the whole issue of micromanagement and making sure that
people are having an opportunity to take on responsibilities to expand
their own skills becomes really important when you are trying to get
complex things done. The working with others is certainly vital to
building teams and facilitating teams and making sure that we’re
fostering relationships and not to narrow in our focus and attention. The
building of relationships inherently makes lots of sense. The pieces that
we’ve added though because it becomes vital in this new age is to pay
attention to networking and how networking in organizations really
matter.
Roger Pearman: I was just reading a research report in fact yesterday where technology
has enabled us to analyze the amount of activity between individuals in
an organization and then follow up with interviews this researcher did
on who has the most influence. And of course, the individuals with the
most networked connections in an organization tend to be the ones
with the greatest influence. Of course, political savvy is really important.
It’s important when we’re managing change, it’s important in getting big
things done. It’s important and helping teams to be advocate for teams
and helping teams to be successful. Many of the so called ethical issues
that managers have are often because of a lack of being politically
savvy. And it comes out of not understanding the various relationships
and the kind of environment that individuals are in the.
Roger Pearman: In self-management factors, we found that of course in managing
oneself, focusing if you will on the kinds of things you need to do to
enrich your own personal effectiveness. It makes perfect sense that
having a career mindset enables you to avoid having too narrow of a job
function and also has you attentive to the kinds of relationships as
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mentors you need for longterm success. It’s fascinating the more
questions we ask about what is it in behavior that matters in
relationships, and the word patience keeps emerging, being patient with
others, showing a real interest in wanting to listen to them becomes an
important part of the story. Several of you mentioned earlier how
information was managed and we concluded that really begins with a
personal commitment to make sure there’s a flow of information that
you’re willing to encourage others to share information and create a
greater arena. Which is to say, if you know the Johari window heuristic,
you know the idea is that what I know, I share what you know, you
share and we create a greater arena between us.
Roger Pearman: The growth orientation conversation has grown enormously in the last
five years in part because at least in my belief, the complexity of the
environment that we’re all in means that we need to be in a perpetual
state of growth and learning and that we need to be in a place where
we are allowing ourselves to take stretch assignments and learn from
those assignments in productive ways. Just as patience is vital, so is
empathy in demonstrating an awareness of other people’s experience is
important. People get confused that empathy means permission, but it
doesn’t really. And if it’s done well, if one is giving empathetic responses
then the person understands you’re trying to understand their world,
their point of view. You’re not necessarily agreeing with that worldview.
And of course, communicating and doing things to be future oriented
helps address a host of issues from how you’re getting results to the
ways in which you’re thinking about the future and thinking about
change.
Roger Pearman: In our analysis and in our work, we are moving toward the evolution of
the leadership unlimited profile to the derailment prevention profile. At
the moment, we are going to stick with the categorical interpretation of
the profile where individuals when they answer the questions in each of
the scales, the system will calculate a score. And based on the algorithm
that we’ve created, it will indicate based on your score you are
indicating these behaviors potentially are derailment factors could also
stall your career if you don’t pay attention to it, or in some cases
accelerate your career. If you will put energy there, you’ll find they’re
typically going to be rich rewards. The question that always comes with
assessments, especially self-assessments is whether you’re using the
leadership unlimited profile or the derailment prevention profile.
Roger Pearman: Even once you get the information, what do you do about it? How do
you close that gap between the knowing and the doing something? And
this is in some ways the most important part of any assessment of
knowing how to go from the awareness of there being a gap between
how I want to behave and be effective and how it’s actually being
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experienced by others. So there are a couple of ways we’d suggest that
you tend to that. Number one, having people complete the LUP or the
development prevention profile when it’s available later this year. We’ll
give information and trends and clues. And in the facilitation guides and
interpretive materials, we give some suggestions and some action tips
that you can utilize to help a person know what’s the very next thing to
do. If there are reasons you are not able to use those, then what we
know and what we found in our work is that there are four very
important categories when looking at any particular kind of behavior
that needs to be attended to.
Roger Pearman: What are the behaviors that you’re doing need to be actually activated?
You haven’t really spent a lot of energy on them. What are some
behaviors you need to stop? What are some things to continue? And
then what are things to tweak? What are some things that you might
tweak a little bit that will elevate your effectiveness? And when you look
at the profile and the bullet points around those behaviors, you have a
very good hint as the kinds of things a person might want to pay
attention to. Now, I say start small. A few small steps over time is vital.
Often people set goals that are way too big and way too demanding for
a person to be able to actually make the kind of shift they decide to
make, literally our aspirations and ambitions often exceed the capacities
we have and the energies we have to make those changes.
Roger Pearman: And then I say, use brain rules. And if you haven’t been studying,
learning in the neuroscience learning, there are some basic brain rules
that I always embed in the goal setting activities that I work with with
coaches than when I’ve used LUP results with groups. I remind them
that there’s some things that they have to do if in fact they want to start
a behavior, tweak a behavior. And even if you’re seeking to stop a
behavior, we rarely ever stop something as we say, cold turkey. You see
the word GRRASP and it simply means that true learning is gradual.
That’s the reason why I say small steps. You simply cannot leap into a
new way of doing something. You have to systematically identify and
very carefully and patiently work at making the change over time. And
that’s simply because change occurs, learning occurs when there is a
new groove, if you will, in the way neurons are firing.
Roger Pearman: And we know somethings are learned when those neurons are firing
enough together to make the behavior actually demonstrated. It also
requires repetition. So knowing it takes some time. And the next piece is
when and how can I repeat the behaviors I’m seeking to learn or adjust
or tweak in some way? And I need to have some form of reinforcement,
that reinforcement could be getting practice partners and getting
accountability partners who give feedback to say, “Here’s the kinds of
things I’m experiencing with the behavior you’re trying to pay attention
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to.” Learning has to be active. Just knowing and having conceptually
some idea of what it is you want to do while it’s good to repeat that in
your imagination and imagine doing what it is you want to do, you have
to do it and have to be very really opportunistic in expressing the
behavior that you’re wanting to twist in some way or adjust in some
way or introduce in some way.
Roger Pearman: Stimulus control, the S stands for stimulus control is a recognition that
our behavior is very much tied to our environment. When we’re wanting
to learn a new behavior such as listening, for example, it’s important to
learn that in a very particular environmental context because the
environment gives us cues, helps us be queued to a particular kind of
behavior that we want to engage in it. And sometimes, it’s helpful even
to have a cue, for example, a special pen or some sort of device that’s a
simple reminder that a particular behavior is being attended to. And
then of course, looking for opportunities to practice the behavior when
it puts you in the hot seat. When you engage in this behavior that you’re
trying to learn, and it’s going to be really important, you definitely want
to create those opportunities. Now, one of the things that we have to
consciously do in learning and creating the kind of plan that we need
this to know what the barriers are that could get in the way.
Roger Pearman: For example, if we are trying to learn to behavior on listening and we
realize that having the computer on, the cell phone on, the special
watch alert on, all of those things creating barriers to focusing. And
that’s a part of the stimulus control dimension. We need to take care of
those. And then of course, we know there’s so many pieces of evidence
that accountability partners are essential and feedback loops are
essential to learning. So how do we get from the know to the do? We
make sure that we’re attentive to our brain rules. There’s no shortcut,
you have to do those things if in fact the behavior is going to be
attended to. In our questionnaire, either the leadership unlimited
profile or the future derailment prevention profile, they’re very specific
behaviors that people can learn or increase as they need to or perhaps
even tone down some as they may need to.
Roger Pearman: As I showed you earlier, strengths can become a weakness. We would
encourage you to remember those particular behaviors need to be
nurtured or addressed over time, and don’t expect things to happen
immediately. Well, I’ve told you about where we’ve been in the lineage
of the leadership unlimited profile and paying attention to research on
career derailment and the partnership with HRDQ to enable us to have
the data, to do more analysis and to pay attention to the needs of a new
age of leaders and managers, and they’ll shape that needs to take. And
how our work is really then about getting to a specific behavior as
possible not just categorical behavior that seems a vital to the area such
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as adapting to change, building teams, and fostering strong
relationships, and having the career focus needed for success.
Roger Pearman: I’m happy for you to know that LUP and then later the derailment
prevention profile is available both in pencil and digital through HRRQ.
And if there are particular questions that have evolved, free to let me
know those. At the moment though, I’m interested in questions since
we have a little bit of time that you might have about derailment and
our research efforts and our assessments. Please put them in the chat
box and Sara will let me know those so that I can respond.
Sara Lindmont: Sure, we actually have some that have already come in, Rogers. So we’re
going to dive right in here. And some are telling me actually that it is
called on your side a questions box. So if there is some confusion there,
take a look on your screen. If it happens to say questions box, that’s
what we’re talking about. Go ahead and type right in there. And you can
see those. The first question we’re getting is about the GRRASP model
that you just talked about, the G-R-R-A-S-P.. Someone asked just what
the P stands for.
Roger Pearman: Practice, I said practice on the hot seat. It needs to be somewhere
where you are engaging in the behavior that has what I call learning
heat. Meaning if you don’t do it well, you’re going to know about it and
it’s going to be emotionally powerful to you because you put yourself in
a situation to practice the behavior where it really mattered.
Sara Lindmont: And to follow up on that, Jeffrey here is asking if there happens to be a
white paper possibly or an article on the GRRASP?
Roger Pearman: I get this question in every webinar I do, and I do have a brief one page
handout. Sara, I’m happy to send to you that you can send to people. It’s
funny, I’ve been in this stuff for so long. I think, gosh, this is just popular
information. All I’m doing is reminding folks of this, but as it turns out,
and I should keep remembering that in fact that little piece I’ve done a is
going to be helpful and pragmatic. So we’ll make that available.
Sara Lindmont: Yeah. And I’ve had several more comments coming in who are saying,
“Oh, yes, I would be interested in that white paper.” So definitely, we’ll
share that out with everyone on the line today. Some no problems
there. We have a lot of questions coming in, which is great. We have a
question here around leadership and an employee who sort of likes to
engage in drama or gossip. And so anything around, thoughts around
how to help with that from a training perspective, how do you lead an
employee who engages in drama and gossip?
Roger Pearman: I’m thinking through several issues in the framework of this model, if
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you will. This is about, if you will coaching an individual about the
importance of how she or he manages information and the way that
management of information impacts relationships. One of the things
that people who engage in that kind of behavior in terms of the
gossiping kinds of behavior, they are unaware that this is career limiting
because it tends to result in people not seeing the individual as
trustworthy and certainly not a person in whom they can have
confidence that information is going to be treated in an appropriate
way. It’s also a good way to help a person become aware of how it is
that being a gossip is really not very politically savvy because it leads to
a host of dynamics around that person. And they see them as, well, I can
get juicy stuff from them, but I have to be really careful what I share
because if they’re sharing this stuff with me, what I share with them, I
don’t want to go out in other ways.
Roger Pearman: Now, the drama is really partially what kind of drama we’re talking
about. Is it that they behave in ways that make other people
uncomfortable and therefore they aren’t attuned to how their behavior
impacts others? So it really does get in the way of relationship building.
And probably I would imagine if a person continues to use that strategy,
they don’t have much of a growth orientation. And being in a space
where you can begin to learn about the impact of your behavior and
why that behavior needs to change, I think would be particularly
important. So those are some initial thoughts.
Sara Lindmont: Great. Thank you. So early on, we had a question here from Ann Marie
that asks for some more detail around how does personable become
not flexible, a blocked learner? Can you talk a little more about that?
Roger Pearman: Yeah. Because what tends to happen, and then again we’re just looking
at the trend in the research. What tends to happen is that personable
people if that’s their strength and that’s what they lead with, they tend
to be seen as, well, nice to be with, not particularly as focused on the
job or not particularly as focused on other people in ways that lead to
getting results. And we can all rail against that and say, “Well, no, that
doesn’t mean that.” I’m just sharing that when the research is followed
along and the trend is followed in multi rater data over time, people for
whom their primary energy focus is being personable and that’s their
primary talent that they’re putting out there. That person that
everybody loves to be around later gets seen as a person who’s not
changing or adjusting or adapting to those around them.
Roger Pearman: And then gets categorized as, gosh, doesn’t seem to learn much. Warm
and friendly, but it doesn’t seem to learn much. Doesn’t take on learning
how to deal with conflict productively, all those kinds of things. Now,
that person asking that question, none of that may be true of them. We
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have to remember that when you’re looking at hundreds of thousands
of data points, that’s a trend. And it’s useful. And advisable to be
mindful of doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true for the person asking the
question. And I say this about assessments all the time. What may be
true for a million people on a particular score is not necessarily true for
the person sitting in front of us. However, to ignore the pattern is a bit
risky in terms of how people experience the strength.
Sara Lindmont: And Roger, based on those strengths, someone is asking if there is sort
of a right combination, is there like a percentage or a balance or is there
kind of a secret code to say. The comment here from Aladdin is all these
strengths appear to lead to one’s downfall, is there a sort of right
combination?
Roger Pearman: Well, that’s a special answer. I only give that out to special people. The
problem with strengths, there’s a peril with all strength focus. And that
is that if let’s say your strength is in building teams and you’re not taking
the time to develop the competencies around reading financial
statements. And you’re not taking the time to learn about a variety of
customer centric strategies that are going to be important for the
future. And you’re not taking the time to engage in managing up. Well,
that strength will only get you so far. And it isn’t that the strength itself
is inherently going to lead to that things. It is the strength unbalanced
with other talents and unbalanced with other learning becomes sort of
the primary attribute that people respond to. The most effective people
that any of us know are individuals who are learning agile. More often
than not, they’re extremely focused individuals.
Roger Pearman: They are people who have a understanding of the difference between
complicated and complex. And they tend to be individuals who have a
drive for partnership in the organization. And so all of those kinds of
qualities come because we have balanced our menu, if you will, of
strengths and capabilities. I would contend that the problem isn’t the
strength itself, it’s the strength unmatched with other attributes
important as well as the vital demonstrated energy of learning from
experience and seeking to learn from others. It seems to me that … Last
year, I think both Time Magazine and a couple of other magazines
reported that when they ask Americans how smart you think you are,
90% of Americans believe they are in the top 10% of smartness.
Roger Pearman: Well, we know that’s not true. And we know that if we have this
perception of ourselves as having particular strengths that enable us to
be spectacularly successful without attention to the impact of that
behavior and what I call the costs of that behavior and different context
is where we begin to see difficulties. And being able to create an
assessment to highlight the most common difficulties and to highlight
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the most frequent pathways to stalling a career really has been the
passion with this work to help people before they stumble, to help
people become aware of strength overplayed can become a weakness
and to balance out the playbook if you will as they go through their
career.
Sara Lindmont: Yes. Yeah. I think that’s spot on. There’s that range there that you need
to be mindful of and find that balance. With that, we have that concept
of in those derailment behaviors, are there some that are more
challenging or more difficult to either change or adjust or work through?
Roger Pearman: That is a wonderful question. There’s a yes end to that question. Part of
it is any element of self-management in so many ways is so much more
difficult to attend to than behaviors associated with and learning to use
in a career. If a person, for example, has developed an impatience
attribute. Not only does that attribute show itself persistently, but they
are typically oblivious to how that impatience plays out. And they
typically think that what they’re doing is demonstrating urgency and
demonstrating initiative, when in fact what people are experiencing is
impatience and disregard. And learning to be patient is a very tough
thing. Likewise, learning to control your focus in an age where we’re
taught to be in the shallows all the time around information. And we
treat situations as though they’re all complicated, and therefore enough
expertise will help us solve the problem.
Roger Pearman: When in fact, many of those situations we address have to deal with are
very complex. Which means you can have all the expertise in the world
in the room and not necessarily have the best answer. And learning how
to work within that ambiguity and manage that ambiguity in productive
ways is tough. And it is in those circumstances that our impatience,
especially our lack of empathy, our ability to be in a growth space are
dramatically diminished. So as a general rule, the self-management
arenas require more energy, more effort than some of the more work
related demonstrated behaviors.
Sara Lindmont: And then let’s close here with some kind of practical application. If you
still have questions, feel free, send those in. But Roger, what are your
thoughts on some of the tactics that are most important in getting
people to adjust their behavior?
Roger Pearman: Well, what is absolutely essential, there are typically four or five steps.
But first one is becoming aware of the behavior. And that awareness, if
it doesn’t lead to accepting and owning the impact of the behavior, then
nothing is going to happen. If I learn that I’m impatient and I’m lacking
empathy and I say, “Well, you know what, that’s interesting. No news
there.” And I don’t express interest and understanding of the impact of
14
the behavior. And I don’t own that, and own that as a leader or a
manager and say, “Well, this isn’t going to play well for my effort to
influence and get things done in the long term or even in my career.”
The first two I think are vital. Meaning I’m aware now, I own it. I want to
do something about it. I engage in a plan to manage that behavior. And
only when I have integrated that plan into how I approach my work
does real change occur. And if a person is not willing to go beyond
awareness, then all the rest of it doesn’t matter.
Sara Lindmont: Wonderful. Thank you so much Roger. We have a minute left here. For
those who are new to HRDQ, I just want to take a second here and
introduce us. We publish research based experiential learning products
that you can deliver in your organization like the leadership unlimited
profile, which is the foundation of today’s webinar. So check out our
assessments, we have up out of your seat games and customizable and
reproducible workshops as well. And if you do need help either learning
a training program or you want one of our experts to deliver it for you,
we also provide those services. Thank you so much for participating
today. We’ve had some great energy on the line. And Roger, as always,
thank you for sharing your expertise.
Roger Pearman: Delightful. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
Sara Lindmont: See you next webinar.
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Presenter

roger pearman pic

Roger Pearman is an award-winning subject matter expert on personality, leadership, and performance effectiveness. He is one of the authors of HRDQ’s highly-successful Leadership Unlimited Profile. Roger has served as a senior adjunct faculty and coach for the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a highly respected global provider of executive education. His collaborative relationship with the CCL enabled him to use their extensive database to aid his research and author several well-known books, including “Hardwired Leadership,” “I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Not You,” and “Leadership Advantage.” The founder of Leadership Performance Systems, Inc. and Qualifying.org, Inc., Mr. Pearman’s clients include the United Nations, Merck, Citigroup, SAP, and the Marriott Corporation.

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