Managers are responsible for getting results from their subordinates. There have been many methods offered as tool kits for managers. The latest addition for this tool kit is about managing the meaning that the subordinated are carrying in their minds. Before we discuss any further, we need to understand some psychology fundamentals, how people’s meanings are created
Meaning are created as a result of interaction be the world and the self. World give sensations to individuals. Sensations are captured through the sensory organs of humans. When similar sensations are repeated, people make adaptations. Adaptations are, in my book the meanings created within the minds of people. Say that a manager calls a subordinate to the manager’s office and scold all the time, the subordinate associates a meaning of being scolded whenever the manager calls the subordinate to the office of the manager. So, the subordinate has built a meaning system for manager calling him/her to the office.
once those meanings are established in the minds of people, they will pre-select their responses as well. In other words, people anticipate the responses for the stimuli that they receive from the world. Thus, managers should monitor the meanings that people are building in their minds. Meaning systems should be understood by the managers by interpreting cues in behaviour.
Once a manager identified an unproductive meaning, the manager should take initiative to adjust the meaning of the subordinate. The ideal way to adjust the meaning is to have a face to face interaction with subordinates. This is where the manager’s communication ability comes into play. Often the manager has face to face communication with subordinates, the manager could make sure that productive meanings are created and maintained within subordinates.