Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Unspoken Quality of Successful Talent Management

Do you believe that the 2 most essential elements of building a running a successful business are human behavior and relationships?

I distinctly remember sitting at my desk in the cool downtown Chicago digs of the Richard Michael Group many years ago. As a recruiter, it was my daily home for several years as I worked to find the best candidates for my clients.

I loved learning about people, their experiences and career desires as well as discovering the business goals of clients and how any one of my candidates could potentially assist in achieving them.

To be successful at both required having skilled conversations that could uncover information perhaps not clearly spoken and yet needed to be revealed.

Entwined in the skill of questioning was the ability to build rapport and to do so in such a way that a cautious vulnerability would unfold.

Rapport is an interesting word (ra-pore) and a critical quality for any conversation (and ultimately meaningful relationships) in which there are desired outcomes. Consider the definition and corresponding synonyms:

In leading and managing successfully, we talk a lot about "relating", effective communication, influence, and coaching as needed elements. And yet, when contemplating the above definition of  rapport, it certainly is an undeniable ingredient in all of these and yet not commonly considered.

Rapport is the connector that allows effective communication -- for influence to occur. 
It's also the glue for an on-going, respectful relationship.

Looking closer at the definition and synonyms, let's break it down. Rapport...creates closeness, harmony, mutual understanding, bonding and accord, through concern and empathy.

These are essential conditions that promote people getting along, getting things done, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion...many of the workplace operational and cultural issues discussed today.

If fact, it's interesting... you could actually say a simple element of a relationship such as rapport could be included in the list of solutions for dealing with difficult employees. Many times immature employees act up and act out because they do not have meaningful rapport with their team members or manager.

In my view, I see it as a management and leadership competency or as I like to call it a human capability. I've come to see that the most successful companies have leaders (and a culture) that are very much in touch with their own humanness and lead from there and serve their customers and clients from there. For those companies that don't, they tend to suffer with multiple, perpetual employee problems and creates performance management issues.

In fact, have you noticed how leaders, managers and even their HR partners will attempt to manage difficult employees and disruptive behaviors with zero rapport. That's when it turns into an experience of partner and child vs. partner and fellow collaborator.

And that's why we help HR professionals, key decision-makers and leaders  reconnect with the human side of business enterprise, constructively and profitably connecting it with the operations and desired outcomes of a company through our smart management blueprint. We distinctly teach how to connect positive human behaviors to better business results. This approach tremendously reduces anxiety and stress in developing people management skills.

Consider this: Most employee performance problems are due to a break down or a lack of established, sustained rapport with fellow co-workers, direct management or upper level leadership.

Coaching tip: Examine the role of rapport in your organization, starting with you and those you lead. Then evaluate each leader and manager and the leadership culture as a whole.

Side Note: By the way, that's why we emphasize leadership and management development as a key strategy of successful talent management. Many companies put much effort into acquiring talent, but little into working with those that manage that talent. That's why we've put together a unique approach to do this - the Smart Management Blueprint - learn more here.

Continuing the Discussion - Essential Resources for You 
If you want to improve your individual people management skills and team management in general, then... you'll want to grow your awareness of how human behavior impacts your business - read my latest 2 executive briefings.  

You can email me and I'll be happy to send a complimentary pdf version of them (whichever you request) or you can pick them up on Amazon (book or Kindle). (They are both incredibly helpful people management books!)
1.  Show Me the Money: Solving the Mystery of ROI to Unlock Profits and Increase Company Value
2. The Human Quotient: The Most Potent Force for Your Business Success

Exciting News: We are migrating to a 90% virtual company so that we can be available to help more people. As of Nov. 1 - we officially launch Manage Global. Our #1 focus will be to help leaders and their HR partners implement effective management practices through our Effective Executive Smart Management Blueprint, which includes our unique lens of human behavior science.  It's an exceptional tool to manage managers for results!..which is one of the top challenges of companies, no matter the size. Our goal is to help them do so in a unique, reliable, sustainable way. Not one dollar is wasted with our blueprint! Learn more here.


  1. A "must read" article from my close friend and uber smart colleague, CEO of "The Human Sphere", JoAnn Corley.

  2. Empathy and gratitude have made a huge difference for me as a leader to motivate teams and connect on a real level.

    1. Hi Ariel -- and that is the key word Connect! Thanks for posting!