First Impressions: Evidence-based Solutions and Why They Matter to You
As many of you who follow my monthly articles are aware, my passion lies in bringing evidence-based solutions from the classroom and university laboratories into the business community. However, I quickly have realized there is a rather substantial disconnect in what the research world holds near and dear to its heart from how the business world actually operates. Researchers may find discussion on p-values and effect size filling the majority of their conversations whereas business people are focused on finding the applicability and meaningfulness of these practices. It is not nearly the disconnect observed between Becca K. and Arie in Bachelor-nation… but it’s pretty close. At the end of the day however, I continuously find myself in a TV host role trying to bridge together all of these different perspectives. How do we find this common language? Businesses would benefit by integrating research findings from the university world and researchers would get to see the fruits of their labor. Sometimes though getting over that first impression of research v. business is the toughest obstacle to cross over. I often ask myself, “what would Chris Harrison do?”
I’m starting to fall for you…
Working with leaders from a number of different organizations, big and small, across a multitude of industries is this really fascinating process of getting to know each other while learning the inner values of the company. Typically, we start off by going on these “one-on-one” dates or these group sessions and each time something new emerges: we find a disconnect between leaders and team members, resentment within the workplace, and of course a healthy, fair share of rumors. What makes us different than a reality-TV show is that instead of filming the drama unfold, we try to provide solutions to put out these fires and prevent them from happening again (Maybe this is why research-based techniques are not as exciting). The goals behind research are to describe, explain and predict the findings in the future. Again, a perfect opportunity for businesses to more accurately describe their workforce, explain the way their team members think, and even predict the way they behave. However, this is a constant journey of discovery with new information contributing the previous bodies of work. Essentially, research is consistently searching for how the current technique is flawed and where the limitations lie. I have actually told clients before to “prove the technique wrong” (not in a confrontational way like you would see on TV but to use the information we know and to see where the limitations are and adjust). Traditional methods, “the way it’s always been done” approaches, have not been put through the same scientific gauntlet. Instead you might commonly find the sentiment of, “I like this idea, let’s try this and it will work.” If the idea doesn’t work well that’s because you weren’t using the techniques correctly and you need more training to learn how to do it right. Using these conventional techniques sounds a lot like an old security blanket: you know there is something cleaner, fresher out there but you feel more comfortable with that old reliable piece of cloth. But what happens though when that blanket starts to rip, tear, and disintegrate away? Who or what do you have to rely on then?
I’m sorry but our journey together must end
Sometimes you just have to let a person learn on their own (natural consequences). No matter how many times you try to hold their hand and show them the benefits of using assessments and evidence-based practices, they keep going back to their old flames…anecdotal evidence. It’s always hard to stand in front of clients with no more roses to hand out but sometimes you have to let them find their own way.
For every broken heart, however there is the joy of a client who has been shown the light of effectively using assessments and has used the data to make informed decisions in the workplace. It’s amazing to witness a client come to a higher state of self-awareness; to recognize their own tendencies both internal as well as how they interpret the external world around them. After more “one-on-ones” they come to recognize their own workplace motivators, behaviors, and start to adopt a completely different mindset about the organization. All the while, the company’s culture starts to change and you begin to notice everyone is becoming more engaged with their work, productivity within the organization increases, innovation flourishes, and believe it or not, people want to come to work! That’s right Bachelor-nation, we have reached the fantasy-suite level.
The Final Rose Ceremony
But in the end you have to choose: Do you stick with your old way of doing things and fear the inevitable changes in the world around us or do you go outside of your comfort zone and take the plunge into something new? Well, here is your opportunity to try a taste of what assessments have to offer. Click HERE for a quick and easy evaluation on self-awareness. Trust me, there will be a lot less controversy surrounding these results than what we saw this last season.