Monthly Archives: July 2013

Play your own game!

PlayyourowngameI had the opportunity to attend a five day golf camp at the end of May.  I learned many things during the instruction time.  One major lesson that I learned was to play your own game.  It’s an analogy that can be applied to your career as well.  Following are some thoughts:

Thought 1:  What others are doing.  When you play golf it’s easy to watch those who you are playing with and try to emulate their strokes, whether you have the same skill or not.  What happens more times than I’d like,… Continue reading


fairnessThe last in the series of drivers is fairness.  If fairness is your biggest driver, you’re happy if beaten by someone who is better than you but hate those that cheat the system.  People who butt in line get under your skin.

A threat response can be triggered very quickly when someone perceives an unfair situation.  You’ll hear your employees say things like “He has a different set of rules for Jim than he has for the rest of us”; “They talk about values but it’s business as usual at the top”;  “She is the favorite… Continue reading


relatednessRelatedness involves deciding whether others are “in” or “out” of a social group.  People are divided into friend or foe.  Relatedness is a driver of behavior in many types of teams, from sports teams to organizational silos; people naturally like to form “tribes” where they experience a sense of belonging.

If relatedness is your biggest driver, you find it easy to remember things about other people.  You make the effort socially and don’t understand when others don’t.  You find it easy to connect with others and like doing things that make others feel important and special.… Continue reading


autonomyAnother driver of human behavior is autonomy.  Those who are driven by autonomy like to feel they are in control and in charge.  Generally they don’t like to be told what to do or how to do it.  If you’ve ever been micromanaged, you’ve experienced reduced autonomy.

Leaders who want to support their employees’ need for autonomy must give them the freedom to make choices, especially when they are part of a team or working with a supervisor.  Presenting people with options, or allowing them to organize their own work and set their own hours, creates… Continue reading


certaintyWe’re continuing to explore the five major drivers of human behavior.  The brain is a pattern recognition machine that is constantly trying to predict the future.  We crave certainty so that prediction is possible.  Without prediction you’re using dramatically more resources to process moment-to-moment experience.

Small amounts of uncertainty generate an ‘error’ response in the brain taking attention away from your goals and forcing attention to the error.  If someone is acting out of character or not telling you the whole truth this can create uncertainty and cause an error response.  Until this is resolved,… Continue reading