Why did you go into HR? Was it because you are a people person? If so, was that the right career choice? I was chatting with an L&D colleague yesterday whose view was that the ‘Process People’ go into HR and the ‘People People’ go into Training. I am not sure where that leaves the ‘Task People’ who are focused on achieving the goal. Perhaps task people go into Recruitment or focus on climbing the ladder? So, what type of HR Person are you?
Obviously, I am stereotyping here by boxing the personality of the HR Person into just 3 categories broadly based on Dr Elias Porter’s Relationship Awareness Theory. Dr Porter identified 3 primary Motivational Value Systems (M.V.S) – Altruistic-Nurturing, Assertive-Directing, and Analytic-Autonomizing. These are classified as Blue – ‘People People’; Red – ‘Task People’ and Green – ‘Process People’ as part of the SDI or Strength Deployment Inventory This is a simple personality tool that is useful for self-awareness and training.
SDI and other personality tools are different because the underlying premise is that our motives are different from our behaviours. For example, two people could be motivated by delivering a certain Task or Goal but their outward behaviour could be different. One may demand loudly – ‘things need to be done properly around here’, the other may quietly focus on the deadline.
Of course, we tend to judge others by their behaviours as opposed to their motives because we don’t always understand those. However, it is worth investing the time to try and find out. As managers, if we understand what motivates our people then we can adapt goals and our management style to get the best out of them.
As HR Change Agents (visit the HR Uprising website) it is even more essential that we understand underlying motives. We need to get underneath the motives of those at the top (which can be different from the stated ones!). However, perhaps more importantly, we need to understand what motivates those that the change is being ‘done to’. This is because it is going to make a difference to how people react and how they want to receive information.
One size does not fit all and as we know change so often fails through human factors. Effective HR Change Agents must be capable of adapting the message and style of delivery to meet the recipients’ preference. This will reduce the likelihood of resistance and increasing the chances of buy-in.