Trend Watch: Reshaping Leadership Through People Science & Dynamics

Trend Watch: Reshaping Leadership Through People Science & Dynamics

Sangeetha, a people’s person, is a thoroughly results-driven HR professional with international experience in global and strategic HR roles. Sangeetha holds Masters in both Psychology & Human Resources and has acquired extensive HR expertise in different business sectors focusing on people transformation, innovation and organisational development areas. She is currently leading the People Planning function for UAE Exchange Group Companies and aspires to create a great workplace experience.

People are at the core of every organisation. And as we move forward into a more digitised world, organisations will need to step up and devise ways to empower their workforce. As challenging as it may be, aligning people capabilities with company goals will become imperative for business leaders to perpetuate growth. How can leaders make that happen? We’ll understand in this article as the author gives us a lowdown on trends that’ll shape People Dynamics in 2019.

Leaders are always on a fulcrum of choices when it comes to managing people. The moral complexity of aligning people capabilities with goals is a perpetual challenge.

Real leaders understand people and their true potential.

They take responsibility for overall growth and development. In a reflective environment, leaders must rethink, be agile, and redefine the approach on human capital. Knowledge of people sciences will enhance human capital and thereby contribute to both a sustainable business outcome and the common good.

These are some of the emerging trends on people sciences that will reshape the way leaders manage their team.

Practising Cultural Sensitivity

Kate worked for a very conservative local firm in the Middle East. She was the only expat and a native English speaker. The leadership team and peer circle respected her and fully supported all her initiatives. Almost all her emails received a ‘Yes, go ahead’ response. Her new Assistant was surprised when she noticed that one of Kate’s emails requesting approval from her MD had punctuation gaps. Question marks were replaced with three dots…Kate exclaims, ‘I am more conscious about how my email gets interpreted than worrying over trivial grammatical errors.’

Kate took time to learn about people whose cultural background is not the same as hers and how they interpreted and communicated in different settings. She knew the science behind a thriving work culture and at her current organisation communication was a vital strategy.

Cultural sensitivity is one of the primary factors that drive organisational behaviour. Awareness of this subject can reduce barriers, open doors for collaboration, enhance mutual respect, and encourage cooperation with colleagues.

Knowledge of people sciences will enhance human capital and thereby contribute to both a sustainable business outcome and the common good.

Uncovering Talent- The Agile Way

The board of directors were not convinced when the CEO nominated an internal talent, Samitha as the next HR Manager. They expressed that she lacked focus, was imaginative and emotional, and perhaps they should hire someone external.

The CEO called for a meeting and negated their concerns objectively. He shared the list of projects Samitha was involved in. All the projects had flawless execution, delivered on time and she demonstrated with full commitment throughout. Her innovative ability helped the team to see a fresh perspective and they were ahead of the curve on creating a new engagement platform which was nominated for a prestigious award. Further, the psychometric report revealed that Samitha’s Emotional Intelligence was very high and her overall leadership score was higher than other contenders. The CEO was able to clarify the difference between being expressive versus emotional and went ahead to appoint her in the role.

In six months’ time, Samitha was crowned as a star performer and received accolades from the board members. Uncovering talent and celebrating the unsung heroes will amplify the capabilities of organisations. The agile way of uncovering talent is to develop depth by redirecting internal talent to take advantage of new opportunities and provide them with opportunities to learn and adapt. This will accelerate the organisations’ ability to grow by bringing in new capabilities in existing streams, propelling organisations to succeed into uncharted territory.

People Skills

Pick up Pace Erick had a domineering personality. Decisive, sharp and aggressive. His team always achieved their targets. His accelerated pace was attributed to his dictatorial style and it was a perception that people feared him. Despite this, his team was very loyal and did not want to work for anyone else. A leadership profiling revealed the contrary. Erick had the highest score on empathy. He was likeable, fair, solution focused and encouraged his team by giving them new challenges and constantly raising the bar Erick gained credibility and was able to influence his team in a positive way. Through his people skills, he could accelerate his pace into new business verticals and made a significant impact.

Often people skills are surface deep. True behavioural patterns are camouflaged under a personal style.

People Skills are a pivotal trend shaping the work culture in 2019.

They are very much in demand, as employers focus on communication, collaboration and problem-solving as the most desired skills in prospective hires.

Personality Dynamics and Its Complexity

During the annual review, Paul was flabbergasted; when his boss commented that he was enigmatic and referenced his communication style. Despite an extroverted appeal, Pauls relied heavily on email communication instead of face to face interactions and seldom collaborated. Pauls was misdiagnosed by his boss as he was not an extrovert but an ambivert.

Ambiverts would be keen to take on new challenges but would feel more confident doing so with a trusted colleague. This new dimension helped Paul’s boss to understand and manage different personalities effectively.

What could have been going on under the surface of the disagreement, led to harmony and clarity, strengthening the team relations.

Feeling misunderstood is a common experience but it can be career threatening when it happens in professional parlance. Understanding people sciences help to overcome tricky situations. Key is to have an open mind and deep dive into patterns rather than limiting to circumstantial context.

Much of the leadership dilemma is alleviated when a leader understands the people dynamics and is able to use it effectively to everyone’s benefit.


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