Glasser’s choice theory helped not just individuals but also organizations like schools and businesses to enable management, workers, and students to take part in the system using internal motivation and avoid conflicts.
Every business transaction (and schooling is similar) is a transaction in relationship. We call good relationship a good business transaction, and conflict, anger, disappointment, and frustration a bad business transaction. For a business to succeed, it needs to establish good relationship between all participants and connect well. Glasser called it “Lead Management.” Using the choice theory in business, employees, managers, suppliers, and clients replace external control with internal control based on happy and successful relationship and are very much dependent on the managers, who lead the organizations.
Leadership is a very complex skill. Though some are very natural at leading, most of the skill can be learned. Every year I take a group of kids through a leadership training. Recently I ran a camp and was shocked to discover that one of the student leaders, who worked with me two months earlier in a leadership program, came to camp a different kid. To the first training day he came for the fun (which wasn’t a bad thing). He was not focused at all on the task (I thought he was happy that he had a day off from school). When he came to camp on the second training day, he was a leader. He took responsibility and helped and cared for others. He participated a lot and took risks. Every word he said was so composed and confident. I was shocked. When I talked to the principal about it, he said he noticed it in class as well. His mum said after the first training, he came back home a different kid and took on other leadership positions in church. So it doesn’t take long to raise leaders, but it requires work and giving them the skills to choose differently.
Managers/bosses appear on a continuum toward being a leader.
The main idea is to help people self-reflect and be aware of their own choices without using force and abusing power and when the manager/boss is a leader who facilitates communication based on trust and improvement that come from within and impact successfully on the bottom line.
This grid is the one I use for my business coaching and workshop. I am sure any person who is looking to improve his business and has workers can benefit from using this table. If you are an employee, it is good for you to assess if your workplace is a healthy place to be. Again, it is on a continuum so no one is totally, 100% on one side. The aim is to find the balance between the two, and it is possible. The boss and the laissez faire are not healthy and very disconnecting. Lead management is somewhere in the middle and a sign of connection.
By the way, I find this table useful for me at home and in class. If you consider the classroom or the family as a business, you will find that you are the one running the show. Don’t aim to be the boss. Aim to be a leader.
Here is a table that explains the difference between the two and why the leadership position is better.
|Very forceful |
Communicates on a need-to-know basis
Wants to be the boss
Transparent, has no hidden agenda
Involves others with decision making and welcomes their input without feeling threatened
Likes to work in the group
Gives many options to choose from
|Not confident |
Uncertain with his decision making
Makes too many changes
|Uses deadly habits: |
bribing or rewarding to control
|Uses caring habits: |
|Likes to set the rules |
Does not give many options
Has a “my way or the highway” mentality
Sets the criteriaHas a punishment system
|Improves the system using the criteria chosen by the group |
Develops others based on their set of skills, strength, and weaknesses
Develops self-evaluation system and promotes communication and team work by investing in workers’ relationships
|Does not improve the system |
Does not have any evaluation system
|Sets the deadlines||Flexible with plan||Doesn’t set deadlines|
|Has a strict plan||Has no plan |
Changes priorities often
Agrees with all, therefore subject to lots of pressure and changes his opinion about it from time to time so it is hard to trust that his agreeing is final
Says okay but does not elaborate
Doesn’t mind who makes the decisions
|Evaluates others in a critical way |
Considers workers as his workers
Has a hierarchy of employment, of which he is at the top and most important
|Does not initiate communication |
Follows external rules
Inconsistent with his behavior and communication (behavior changes depending on day, circumstances, pressure)
Never gives feedback
If you are a boss, find out where you are and evaluate yourself. If you are a parent, do the same. I am sure you are afraid of losing control and power, but you will be surprised to find out how much power you get from becoming your family or your business leader.
If you are a teacher, do the same. I know that teaching is much harder. Having 30 kids in the class is not the same as having two or three in the house, but I think it is even more important to do it in a class.
Join me next time when I explain the choice theory and how wonderful it is to be implemented in the classroom.
Happy business relationship!