The Psychological Keystone of Your Leadership

May 13 2015

Every writer about leadership development makes some assumptions about people: about how they function, how they perceive, how they are motivated, how they deal with the complexities and limitations of their lives. However, these assumptions are often not declared, and the result is often considerable confusion about the management of people, together with mixed messages about the best ways to engage them in doing their finest work.

Behaviour is Internally Controlled

The pre-suppositions that FutureShape Consulting brings to all its work are completely visible. All our work is based on the psychology of internal control. It is grounded in the belief that you can only control your own behaviour. You cannot directly control anyone else. You can make choices for yourself, and you can influence other people’s choices, but you cannot make choices for them.

The theory on which this program is based is not new, but it is often not put into practice! The insights from understanding internal control psychology help us to be more effective, to fulfil our own potential, to grow in confidence and capability. When we use the procedures embedded in these assumptions to support people in a positive way, they will also grow in their own confidence and effectiveness. At FutureShape Consulting we use and teach a coaching process: The Positive Outcome Process® to helps people achieve their goals and find success in their lives.

How to Get the Best from People

Leadership QualitiesIf you are reading this, you probably want to enhance your own leadership. You will be hoping to learn how to get the best out of the people you lead. You will want to persuade your staff to learn, to change and to adapt so that they take advantage of the best research and practical knowledge available. You will want your team to work cohesively and to co-create a positive and supportive culture. You will hope that they will become increasingly productive and creative; to take responsibility and show initiative, in a complex, fast-paced environment where there are myriad pressures and expectations!

So, I hear you ask, how do I get the performance outcomes expected from my staff in this demanding environment, if the only person I can actually control is myself?
The answer to that question is the focus of all of the work of FutureShape Consulting.

The Consequences of Attempting External Control

Many leaders and managers encounter frustrating levels of resistance because they start from the psychological assumptions that other people can be controlled, and that controlling others is the job of a leader. The consequence of this assumption is usually a great deal of misery, both for the leader and for the people that he or she leads. Organisations that work with FutureShape Consulting have the liberating advantage of understanding that each of the people in their staff is the author of their own behaviour, and is responsible for the choices
that they make.

Knowing this, our clients learn to consistently approach every staff member, each situation and every change initiative, knowing that their effectiveness depends on the allegiance and engagement of their team. Winning this engagement and support is the psychological keystone of everything we do at FutureShape, and the key to effective leadership.

Rob Stones specialises in leadership development Sydney.