When I look at Elliott’s Four Absolutes, required for success in a role (any role, no matter the discipline), here is the list.
- Capability (measured in Time Span)
- Skill (technical knowledge and practiced performance)
- Interest, passion (value for the work)
- Required behaviors
Required behaviors is an interesting absolute, with three strings.
- Contracted behaviors
Today, the focus is on contracted behaviors. Through his career, Elliot shifted away from personality theory (though, he was trained as a clinical psychologist) to required behaviors. He became less interested in a person’s behavioral tendencies and more interested in required behaviors. If a person wants the job, there are required behaviors. There are some behaviors, you simply contract for.
Some people do not possess the behavioral tendency for punctuality. But, if the role required the person be on-site at 8am, Elliott didn’t care about the behavioral tendency, the requirement was on-site at 8am. Not on-site at 8am, can’t have the job. As a matter of contract.
Can I contract for respect (Aretha Franklin rule)? Not the attitude of respect, because I cannot figure out what goes on in the mind of my teammates, but behaviors connected to respect?
Anything I can translate into behavior is a behavior I can contract for. I cannot contract for respect, but I can contract for behaviors connected to respect.
“If you disagree with a teammate, you are required, first, to listen before communicating your position.” Listening is a behavior. I can contract for that.
“If you disagree with a teammate, you are required, first, to listen, not because it is a nice thing to do, not because it is courteous, but as a matter of contract. If you disagree with a teammate, you are required, first, to listen.”
Elliott did not care if you had a dominating personality or did not value relationships, as a matter of contract, you were required to listen. Can’t listen, can’t have the role. There are some behaviors, you simply contract for.