Arthur Carmazzi, the Founder of The Directive Communication Psychology and a renowned expert in the space of building a strong and cohesive organizational leadership talked about his journey, method of leadership development and the importance of building the right culture, in an exclusive interaction with People Matters.
An avid international speaker and author, Carmazzi brings with him an experience of more than 25 years and expertise in conducting in-depth research into psychological approaches towards leadership, behavioral changes and how these changes can help in creating high-performing teams.
Let’s take a look at some of the poignant insights that Carmazzi shared during an interview with People Matters!
You started out your career as an HR professional and transitioned into the role of a leadership coach. Now, HR and business leaders look up to you for advice on how to identify the right leaders. Please do share your personal journey with us!
I used to be a managing director of a consulting company, after which I become a Department Head in a major multinational organization. However, in the corporate world, I started to observe that there is this consistent culture of blaming each other or other team members for any failure or anything that goes wrong. And, believe it or not, the culture that you work in starts rubbing off on you and inadvertently you start behaving in a similar manner. However, I definitely learned about the potential that each team has and if tapped in the right way, we can all realize an employee’s true potential.
When I realized that the teams around me could do much better than they are used to performing at this point, I started diving deep into the environment and group dynamics that play a part in creating misunderstandings within teams. I started doing research on environment and group dynamics life why do people misunderstand each other, why do some motivators excite you but they won’t excite other people? Why is that you take a high performer and put him in another high performing group and the entire team falls apart? Why is it that you can’t take a medium or average level performer and put him into an average performing group and suddenly you have got a super high performing team?
So, I started doing all these researches and essentially almost more than a year later, started developing the framework which came to be known as Directive Communication Psychology. And I started trying this here and there in the organization with people from other departments. At the end of it, we were able to improve the productivity of the teams in such a way that we were able to save the company about $17,000 a week.
After that, I started researching, writing articles and talking about directive communication psychology on radio and TV.
Now that you are helping other organizations identify the right leaders for the right role, what would you say are the top three new-age skills that the hiring manager can keep in mind in order to hire the best leader?
At present, most hiring managers are looking at the number of degrees you have, how smart you are and they are trying to identify those factors that indicate competency in specific areas. However, if they end up putting this exceptionally talented person in the wrong team, then their expectations are not met. This is the start of dysfunctional teams.
That’s why, the first thing that I would suggest HR leaders to look for is the cultural fit. What kind of culture do you currently have and what culture do you want to have? It is called the culture evolution benchmarking tool. If you identify where the culture is and essentially what are the different areas that you can tap into to evolve your culture. Therefore, to know the culture is the first step towards identifying the right skills that would fit in your organization.
To bring about innovation in any field, an emotional drive is essential.
Tools such as colored brain communication cards help in understanding the emotional gratifications behind the cards they chose and why they chose them, makes it easy to identify a person’s primary motivators. If you match the motivators to the type of culture you want to create, then you are on the right track.
As a leader, you need two things as a motivator, not as a skill. A high emotional drive for significance, which basically means that you want to be recognized and the second one is the emotional drive for achievement. Another one is the emotional drive to be supportive. These emotional drivers are a must-have for a leader.
At the end of the day, creating a high performing team is all about getting the recipe right. Because team performance is predictable--it is about understanding the different personalities and knowing what drives them.
Let’s talk about the tech skills that play a crucial role in identifying the right leader. How do you think HR leaders can leverage the right technology in order to identify the right leaders and enable them to form high-performing teams?
Gamification has become a part of our lives partly because the whole social media culture has made it an integral part of our personal and work lives. The question is how can we leverage this culture of gamification and tap into the emotional motives of the leaders and employees in order to create an efficient and goal-focused team. In order to create a consistent and sustainable drive among employees, receiving helpful and regular feedback is essential. Setting up a leaderboard of sorts and monitoring the KPIs regularly along with realtime feedback can create teams that are in-tune with the organizational goals and team objectives. At the same time, with the help of instantaneous feedback, they can be attuned to what they need to do in order to become better--it is a constructive way to keep track of the team members’ strengths and weaknesses. The idea is not to reward people for nothing but to identify areas where people can be rewarded so that they maintain that level of motivation.
What is the major challenge that you have seen people managers and HR leaders are facing when it comes to creating a strong leadership base?
The biggest challenge is the culture. If the people do not understand their culture, and if they are not focusing on building or creating that culture, then it becomes a challenge. Workplace as an environment brings out specific facets of people. You can get the most perfect people who are going to make a huge impact in your organization and put them in a dysfunctional culture. Or you can identify their key strengths and motivators and put them in the right teams.
Slight behavior modifications can go a long way in empowering teams to become more productive. Making one modification in behavior affects the entire group dynamics. And that’s what essentially Directive Communication Psychology does. It helps you to understand which little modifications should be made to change group dynamics. Once you understand how and why people do what they do, then you will be able to understand the small elements that an individual can change, a leader can change. These changes can create a huge impact on the overall environment of the organization and it will improve the organizational culture.
And the same goes for technology! Even though HR leaders are leveraging technology, they are still dealing with the emotional human elements and the need for measurable results.
You are yourself a leadership and culture guru, but which leader do you look up to?
Ken Blanchard. He is so down to earth and real. He displays the ultimate authenticity as far as leaders go. He has been a great influence on me.
If not a leadership coach, who would you rather be?
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Global domination. How to expand Directive Communication Psychology globally so that everybody can use it, everybody can have better relationships, and everybody can have a better working environment.
One must-read book for CEOs and business leaders?
The book Hooked! It is about digital branding but can be easily applied to leadership and organizational culture.
Favorite holiday destination
What’s the last thing that you have watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
Game of Thrones because it talks about every kind of leadership!
What’s the best professional advice that you have ever received in your career?
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate. And if I hadn’t listened to that advice, the team would have never been able to scale up! (We have over 500 licensed Directive Communication Psychology consultants and trainers in 19 different countries.)
Image credit: Arthur Carmazzi Pinterest