This was a recent post on the China Solved Blog which at temps to describe to foreign company heads that hiring and training employees can be very different from that of the United States or Europe.
Imagine you are a film director and you spend 5 days recording the work of key people in your office. You’re making a movie called: “Doing It Right” and you want to catch everyone in your office doing exemplary work. Congratulations – the film is done. Now you have to make the trailer.
Pick 3 scenes from your film for the trailer. Identify 3 examples of people doing things the way you want them to get done.
What are the people doing?
If you said “selling” or “calling a client”, you are describing the activity.If you said, “applying pressure” or “acting likeable”, you are describing a behavior.
Start paying more attention to behaviors when you are hiring and training.
A description is the story.
A behavior is the thought and action of one person in one set of circumstances.
“Attending a meeting” or “writing a report” describe activities. Anyone can perform those tasks. “Trying to persuade others” or “wasting time” are behaviors, and they describe actions in a way that includes the actors’ perspective.
Behaviors indicate what’s really going on in the person’s head. Behaviors and Intentions are often different, but people confuse them all the time.
Hire and manage based on behaviors, not intentions. If your sales team feels that building relationships is the best method but you want a more systematic approach involving schedules, then you don’t have a SKILLS problem. You have a disagreement over behavior. Someone’s behaviors have to change for the outcome to be successful.
Behaviors can be good or bad, and they can be changed. But managers have to identify what behaviors they really want to hire. If you want salesmen who behave aggressively with clients, they are also going to behave that way in the office. Polite, friendly, funny salesmen are great to work with, but they are polite and friendly with customers too.
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