Today’s post is from Karen Wilhelm. Karen has inspired me to connect and learn more through blogging. It has been great communicating with Karen over the last few years. Her insights are always enlightening. This is part two of a three part series.
We’ve seen in Part One of this article that a leader often has a preferential use of the task-oriented brain network, but we can also switch to the social neural domain.
Can a leader use both domains at the same time? Apparently, that doesn’t work out so well. That results in treating people as things — objectifying them — and manipulating them to achieve some goal, whether we mean to or not. People naturally recognize the insincerity. The leader may mean well in assuming an action will benefit people, but without proper use of the DMN operating, it’s impossible to know for certain what they want or need. When people aren’t involved in that DMN-related decision interaction, they aren’t as accepting of a management action.
The study’s authors have a couple of suggestions for training more versatile leaders. One is to use simulations for practicing switching. Another is to design career paths that alternate or split time between DMN creative endeavors like marketing or training others, and TPN activities like finance, IT, and quality assurance. In addition, Boyatzis says, management education should include more teamwork, service learning, internships and personal reflections on the impact of behavior and values on others.
Matt Wrye: As a lean change agent, the switching between TPM and DPM happens routinely. I have had to develop training and put myself in the learner’s shoes trying to understand what they need. Then a few hours later switch modes and work on solving a problem using data. I would say that my natural tendency is TPN and I have had to learn more about DPM through the years.
Chris Paulsen: It seems that most leadership roles require switching between TPM and DPM if they are to be done well. My natural tendency is definitely TPN and DPM takes more effort for me. The rotation between these two domains discussed in Part 1 may explain why being more people oriented seems to come easier on some occasions than others.
Visit Karen’s Lean Reflections Blog for more interesting blogs.