This classic article "Escape from the Red Zone" has very current ideas. "Peter Naylor and Claire Crittenden have a revolutionary approach in their Seven Practices listed in this article about confronting the business world's last taboo: emotion."
People are motivated by either "red" emotions -- anger, fear, greed -- or "green" emotions -- genuine enthusiasm and confidence. Either ...gets results. Yet one set of emotions ...slowly destroys people; the other can actually improve people's quality of life.
Flattery, advice, criticism, and motivation rob workers of their freedom and ignore the...emotional current ...between manager and subordinate
...All organizations in the contemporary world manipulate emotion, warp it, force it into the red zone... A few, and only a few, are struggling to get well.
...Their alternative model for organizational life and the politics of emotion has simple ground rules:
- No flattery.
- No advice.
- No criticism.
...No telling people how to do their jobs -- outside of a genuine training environment. Never. At all. Period.
Recognize achievement, let the numbers speak for themselves.
...Flattery, advice, criticism, and motivation rob workers of their freedom and ignore the essential emotional current that runs through encounters between manager and subordinate," Naylor says. Nine times out of ten, that emotional current is red: a Molotov cocktail of anger and fear, grounded in feelings of subjugation.
If you do this over a period of time -- design and validation -- people will be transformed."
..."The problem is, people don't want to be responsible. But when you give advice, who now has the responsibility? Anyone here ever heard of empowerment? If you do this over a period of time -- design and validation -- people will be transformed."
Excerpts from the seven (7) practices that make it work:
1. Don't give advice, explore emotions. ...ask, "How do you feel about this?" Keep asking it, adding only, "Gee, that's interesting, tell me more." ...Later it's appropriate to return to problem-solving mode -- even if it's only 15 minutes later.
2. Don't set goals; design outcomes. Envision a "product" for every project, something tangible. ....Clarify...product, the actions, the benefits. Get them down on paper.
3: Never criticize, only validate. Do it on paper, in tangible, solid form. Recognize achievement, let the numbers speak for themselves.
Source: "Escape from the Red Zone" featuring Peter Naylor and Claire Crittenden by writer David E. Dorsey In Fast Company magazine.