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All the Worlds a Stage

All the worlds a stage, And all the men and women merely players. —William Shakespeare

Executive summary of the contents of this blog:

  • Nobody knows who you are “deep down;” people seek you out or avoid you based on what you say and how you say it.
  • The effect you have on others is manageable; you are not doomed to be unloved and disliked by birthright.
  • Actors manage their affect—gestures and expressions—and their words to create every possible personality type. They can be lovable and they can be villainous; so can you.
  • This blog is not about spiritual transformation, or self-motivation, or self-help, or inspirational jargon; it is about the fact that your verbal and non-verbal behaviors create your persona—the way you are perceived by others.
  • The bottom line is that most of the things we want in life we get from or through others. If we repel others we have one level of success; if we attract them and make them comfortable we have another level of success.
  • The “how” to get what you want from life is known; whether you want to behave differently is your choice.
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Behavioral Investigation: Engineering the Path to Performance

For 30 years I’ve been a Behavior Analyst Practitioner—a consultant who helps public and private organizations understand how an employee’s behavior is influenced by the environment he or she works in. The explanation that most people accept for human behavior—the “cause” for why someone does or says this or that—is that their behavior is personality-driven.

Personality is a complex subject, but I think the average person would characterize it as being the “hard-wired,” beliefs, attitudes, and predispositions that were acquired early in life, that pre-determine our personal style. Although there are major disagreements among academics about the changeability of people, it seems obvious to me that leaders, managers and supervisors can not do it in a work setting. It is expensive and futile to attempt to affect human performance by changing their internal structure.

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Feedback That Changes Behavior

The most difficult aspect of leading, managing, and supervising is providing performers with negative feedback. Most people report public speaking as their number one fear; for anyone in a management role, providing one-on-one negative feedback holds that number one spot. Many managers not only avoid feedback, they do not do provide it at all.

Annual or bi-annual performance reviews are hated by everyone—employee and manager alike. In many companies, performance reviews and salary reviews are synonymous; the performance review provides the rationale for whether one receives a raise and how much that raise is going to be. It is often humorously acknowledged that everyone is on his or her best behavior for a few weeks prior to performance review time.

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Shocking Facts About Workplace Behavior

I thought I would record a few random, disjointed observations about behavior and positive reinforcement in the workplace in a sincere effort to shock and surprise  readers.

So, here are some observations you may find interesting:

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