“I know you can tell that I’m upset,” Justin admitted. “It’s just that I am flabbergasted with my team.”
“You are right,” I replied. “Easy to tell you’re a bit off-center. Details?”
“They think they can get together and vote on policy all by themselves. They decided on a quality standard different than what we promised the customer. They decided our quality standards are too strict.”
“So, now, our customer is our quality control department, not a good thing,” Justin shook his head. “I think they’re just a bunch of lazy guys trying to get away with sub-standard work. It’s a lousy personality trait that has infected the whole team.”
“So, you really think it’s personality, that they all have the same personality traits?” I asked.
Justin stopped. “I knew you were going to side with the team. You’re right, it is an overgeneralization that they all have the same personality.”
“And, you think personality has the ultimate impact on the way a person behaves?”
“If I were a psychologist, I would say yes.”
“But you’re not a psychologist, you are a manager. Think. If it is not personality, what could influence an entire team of people to act the same way?”
“I guess, because they all believe the same thing is true about the work,” Justin was searching for that factor common to the team.
“What is the same about the team, is that they all work in the same environment, an environment that you created, as the manager. If you want to change behavior, change the context.”