Developing Unrealized Potential in Your Staff

I remember attending a workshop for managers presented by Stephen Covey when he asked the question “At what level are your staff resources being utilized?” He directed people to raise their hands if it was 95%, 80% and so on. Sadly, of the 800 plus people in attendance, very few could claim any substantial use of these resources. Covey made his point. It emphasized to me that really no-one (statistically speaking) believes that they are exploiting (in the good sense) the talents and possible contributions of their people. The tragedy here is that this is a lose-lose situation. People long to be a part of something that is significant, and companies want highly performing teams that produce results. This combination is not so common. I left wondering if it were really possible to attain such a lofty goal.

My study of the humanities over the years has convinced me that it is possible, when we both understand and know how to truly incent human beings, and actually put it into practice. The principles are actually very simple, yet it’s hard to obtain. Why? It’s because truth is apparent, but it’s not intuitive. I liken the task to be somewhat similar to training a Golden Retriever. When training a dog, you have to use positive incentives and stimulus that reinforces good behavior. If you want him to sit by the door and use your back yard for his bathroom, it will not help to beat him with a rolled up newspaper until he gets it right. One has to be patient, use treats and encouragement, to convert the animal into man’s best friend. People are much the same-they do not respond to, or appreciate being shamed, guilted or punished to perform well. If we can see clearly how it works in the animal world, then why is it so hard to do with humans?

The fact is, there are some professional practices and techniques that really work. After we adopted Bailey, our Golden Retriever, I took him to an obedience class and learned from the experts how to turn this beast into one of the most obedient and pleasant household pets. I could not have done it on my own. What I was taught made sense, but actually putting the principles into practice was tough.

To truly develop the unrealized potential of our staff, we must, as managers, use the following incentives:

  • Make them think. We call them out through discovery-based probing, by asking questions of them rather than giving them answers. It’s just like a college test. If we know we have to pass the test to graduate, we will study the material. No test I’ve ever taken began by giving me the answers. Telling bosses must convert their knowledge base into curious questioning that makes the staff member think. Once the manager finds good thinking, he must give that person a reward. It’s called encouragement.
  • Create a career path. True delegation is a staff development system. We should delegate primarily to develop the unrealized potential in our staff, versus working to just get stuff off our plates. The best way to do this is to employ levels of freedom for tasks we want to transition, then use the questioning process above to cultivate good judgment in them, which will translate into good decisions through repetition. Using a professional roles and responsibilities process works like a charm.
  • Provide stretch assignments. Using the battery of wholesome human incentives, as in athletic training, we build muscle and competency at one level, then “push” them to go further. When I first started to run as a way to stay healthy, I never imagined I could actually complete a marathon. Twenty two races later, I’ve learned to love the 26.2 course, and find it somewhat normal. We can all do much more than we think we can. We need a good coach (professional manager) to believe in us and encourage us along the way. It’s a process of cultivation that involves patience, time, and hard work. Only, they (our staff) have to do the hard work-the thinking, making judgments and the actual performing.

As mentioned above, to grow in academic prowess, as students we are provided materials (classroom training and books), but when it comes to applying that knowledge, we face tests. To review: the “tests” we provide our staff are in managerial questioning in the delegation and stretch request process-it develops unrealized potential. To short circuit that process, frustrate both boss and employee, and with shame hide rather than raise our hand at the next Stephen Covey like management seminar, just be a telling boss. High performing teams are cultivated over time; it’s a process that involves professional management skills and techniques focused on known human incentives. Does it make sense? Yes. Is it easy? No.

Coaching questions: Where might you being employing the “newspaper” therapy with your staff? How might you better incent them to be happy, loyal, performing employees? Write your answers in your journal.

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

Using an Enterprise Behavioral Program to develop Operational Insights

People problems within multi-function corporate teams are often the result of a lack of Interpersonal Operational Insights based on behavioral assessments. business operations strategy, business dna, dna behavior, arete global consulting

While executives have a multitude of metrics and bench-marked data to run other aspects of their businesses, they generally lack the ability to measure and track behavioral aspects of their organizations that are clearly critical to success.

The implementation of an Enterprise Behavioral Program will allow organizations to internally enhance their hiring expertise, goal collaboration, executive coaching, leadership development, career management, interpersonal conflict resolution and develop customer and vendor insights to improve performance.

Learn how Arete Global Consulting is helping organizations succeed with behavioral assessments through their Enterprise Behavioral Program.

5 out of 60 Cause Execution Blockages

As a leader have you ever looked into your business to discover where the execution blockages are? If you have done this, did you pinpoint the exact blockage points?

Of course, the blockage points are with specific people on your team or in the broader business. There only needs to be one square peg in a round hole for there to be a problem. It does not need to be many people out of place. However, it is often difficult to objectively see who is causing the blockages.

Last week we did an organizational review of a company with 60 employees. Our starting point was to have each employee complete their Business DNA Natural Behavior Discovery. Then we were able to apply talent benchmarks for each role to determine the optimal fit of each person. Our initial external view was that 5 people performing leadership and sales roles were a poor fit.

The leader then confirmed that these 5 people were performing below the required level and in one case a business unit was significantly under achieving its goals. The good news is that the problems were identified and a plan was developed to assign these valuable people to other roles whilst maintaining engagement.

To learn more about the processes you can use to increase employee engagement, please visit or email

Product Release – Hiring Performance Report

Hiring Performance Report | A new “spoke” to the DNA Behavior Hub of Solutions

For the past year we have made many steps in the direction of becoming the behavioral hub of solutions for building a customer centered organization. Just as a business relies on its contact record database as its sole source of record keeping, we are becoming the standalone and single source of understanding and matching employee and customer behavior.

Today, we made a big stride in that direction with a new spoke to our hub, the Business DNA Hiring Performance Report. This report provides a systematized way for companies to understand their employees talents, tasks, roles and non financial work rewards. We are excited to announce that this particular hiring report runs completely off of our independently validated DNA Behavior Natural Behavior system. Therefore in the case that you or your colleagues have already completed the 46 question Natural Behavior questionnaire, to understand your Financial DNA or Business DNA, this hiring report can be simply generated with a click of the button.

Components of the report:
1. Desired Tasks based on Natural Talents
2. Desired Team Roles within an Organization
3. Desired Work Environment
4. Desired Work Rewards
5. Strengths based Interview Hiring Questions

The Report: The Hiring Performance Report is a 3 page report which provides all of the analysis necessary to facilitate an interview or review of your employees.

Page 2: On page 2 of the report, we analyze the first 4 of 5 components in the above list. Based on my Hiring Report (below), I should be working in a creative environment, where I have the freedom to explore, design and be curious in my day to day activities. When financial rewards are not possible or always necessary, I like being rewarded with ways that I can broaden my horizons through learning and make my work more meaningful.

Page 3 of the report, provides behaviorally driven interview questions. My 2 strongest factors of my Natural Behavior are Creative Cooperative, therefore these two factors are my biggest strengths and important to be highlighted in an interview.

Increasing Client Engagement Around the World

Our dream of globalizing DNA Behavior as a leading Human Performance Business has fast come to reality.

In the past 12 months, the Communication DNA Profile has been completed in 47 countries worldwide – including Germany, Romania, Russia, Mexico, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, India and China.

Business bright spot, business improvement
This global reach shows, regardless of possible differences in culture, that businesses, individuals, couples, families and leaders in multiple industries around the world understand the importance of knowing their own Communication style and adapting to the style of others in building sound relationships.

How do you wish to be communicated with? How do you customize your approach for different clients?

You naturally communicate based on who you are and how you see the world. Of course, how the other person hears the message depends on who they are. So often there is a gap that needs to be bridged between what was said and what was heard. Close the Gap. One of the keys to success in any personal or business relationship is closing this gap by communicating with the other person on their terms and not your own.

Complete the Communication DNA Profile

Learn How Businesses are Using Communication DNA to Increase Client Engagement

Our specific Enterprise Solutions help businesses and organizations increase the emotional engagement of employees and clients through tailoring your communication, improving execution and customizing the experiences you create for others each time you interact.

Click Here to Learn More

New DNA Report Structure Highlights the Bright Spot of DNA Behavior

In all businesses, it is important to discover your greatest strengths in order to build client engagement and improve performance.? How does your solution or the service experience you provide differentiate you from your competitors? What sustainable value are you providing to your clients?DNA Behavior 2 Page Report, Financial Behavior Report, Financial Behavior Summary

Recently, we conducted research to discover the bright spot of DNA Behavior International. Through our research, we found that the greatest transformations have consistently come from our customized DNA Ultimate Performance Guide which summarizes Strengths, Struggles and keys for working with individuals based on their unique behavior.

To provide a simple summary that can be used by anyone including teams, employees, families and couples, we created the 2 Page DNA Summary Report. We believe that this simplified Report will provide the participant with more immediate meaning and a memorable experience from the outset.

This Report will be offered under all of the DNA brands including Financial DNA, Business DNA, and our other specialized brands.

Click here to View a Sample Report