Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dealing with Abstracts

As managers and leaders, we will have to deal with the abstracts.

What are abstracts? They are the opposite of concrete thinking. Instead of actual facts and figures, and tangible things you hold abstractions are intangible. For example, abstracts will include concepts like values, beliefs, perceptions, instinct, judgments, opinions, substance, character and emotions.

Like it or not, we will need to deal with emotions when we encounter a difficult situation with a person. Some people may choose not to talk about it, while others insist on it. The difference between men and women in a relationship is that women want to talk about it before we sleep, whereas men prefer to talk about it when we awake. What we, eventually, talk about would be the abstracts – not merely behaviors, but also aspects of human relationships and the human condition.

An unpleasant service experience will be measured on abstract matters such as sense of satisfaction, ambience, sense of importance, and politeness. If you cannot measure them on an absolute way, then you will be dealing with abstractions. Abstracts are part of the how we construct the experience with others, and what we extract from each experience becomes our starting point for how we lead and manage future experiences.

As managers, we will need to explore abstracts like experiences, relationships and potential in the future.

Leadership Lessons: Abstract, construct and extract from each people interaction and transaction. Which kind of experience will you create in your next performance appraisal interview with your staff? Which abstracts will you focus on?

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