Jun 29 '16

Mentor Accountability Program: Are you and your company ready for the new world?

June 2016

By Curtis Sprouse

It is more important now than ever that we focus on our personal and professional development given the changing world we live in. Personal and professional development is challenging given the multiple demands placed on our time and the quickly changing societal landscape.

Changes and Threats:

We face many challenges that include, but are not limited to, the development and maintenance of careers in a society that is experiencing, and will continue to experience, significant job loss (see How Technology IS Destroying Jobs by David Rotman, June 12, 2013 in MIT Technology Review.) We are challenged to raise families in a society that has economic uncertainty, growing drug use and abuse, and expanding threats from radical groups.

Numerous countries continue to amass debt and struggle with governmental policy changes that affect imports and exports. The world economies face numerous international threats including unstable currencies, terrorism, technological advances, and an educational system that struggles to keep pace with population growth and what constitutes a relevant educational base that will prepare people for a dynamic world.

The worldwide availability of prescription and nonprescription drugs continues to grow in adults and children. The use and abuse of these drugs will affect motivation, drive, and intellect, as well as impact a large percentage of the population’s ability to adapt. This will create more opportunity and responsibility for those who are prepared for a changing environment, and will also place more societal pressure on those that thrive to support a growing faction of society which cannot adapt or support itself.

If this is not enough, we are faced with increasing threats to our safety from radical terroristic groups, increasing crime and murder. These threats will grow for the foreseeable future creating a growing challenge and threat to the work environment in ways we cannot predict. The effect of the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 had an immediate impact on the economy. In the week that followed, the DJI lost 14.5% of its value. This affected millions of lives and numerous international economies. There has been an extended negative impact on our economy and the world economies due to the single terrorist attack. These types of events will continue to occur, allowing some industries to thrive (such as cyber security) and causing many others to experience significant disruption or failure.

The Opportunity:

These factors and more will require us to adapt to a changing society and job market unlike any other seen in history. In order to thrive, and in some cases just survive, we will be forced to develop and refine skills that can help us shift career focus and enable us to meet the needs of a new and changing society that will place fare more emphasis on effective collaboration, adaptability, and intellectual efficiency.

A Model for Future Success:

Personal development and growth requires several key elements. The process requires that we Learn, Grow, and Lead: Given the challenges we face how one does this in an effective and material way? We adopt a process that enables:

i.self-awareness

ii.acceptance

iii.focus

iv.process that facilitates lasting change

The importance of behavioral factors: Are we preparing for the future?

Great leaders are not always the most talented people, but they are usually the most consistent. They are able to use their skills and talents in a broad spectrum of situations, and in doing so, are more adaptable. We need to develop adaptability as individuals if we are going to maintain or increase our value proposition in society.

A Proven Approach:

The EurekaConnect Behavioral Dynamics (ECBD) program provides a highly effective way of defining “why” one does what he/she does, and evaluates a person’s mechanism of action. The ECBD program utilizes objective measures captured using validated instruments. The resulting analysis provides participants in the program with a clear understand of genetic behaviors that can be challenging to manage vs. learned behaviors that can be refined and changed. The data informs the participant, providing logical evidence from multiple perspectives that refines and focuses self-awareness while increasing acceptance.

Effective Change:

The information is then presented in nineteen models which help people to understand the relationship between a behavior and other behaviors that impact Motivational drive, Listening, Conflict Resolution, Interpersonal Skills, Implementation, Influence, and eleven other behavioral models. Unlike many other programs that classify people as a type (such as Introvert vs Extrovert), the ECBD program helps people understand the relationship between individual talents and developable skills.

This allows for acceptance, focus growth, and material growth. Why do you present as an Introvert and how do you optimize? You refine your approach to optimize talent relative to the factors the cause you to present as an Introvert. The “why” people do what they do is more important to the development of skills than the what; however, many program focus on the “what.” This creates a basis or label that can be difficult for people to break and further challenge personal and professional development.

Once a person is clear on the “why” and understands what to focus on, he/she is ready for the remaining step. Accountability is a proven method for effecting change. (The Effects of Personal Accountability and Personal Responsibility Instruction on Select Off-Task and Positive Social Behaviors

Sharpe, Tom; Balderson, Daniel Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, v24 n1 p66-87 Jan 2005 A).

The EurekaConnect Mentor Accountability Program (MAP) represents a highly effective approach that leverages accountability to affect change. The MAP program takes peers and pairs them up. Each person is responsible and accountable to the other. They present their development objectives (in writing), provide data (EurekaConnect DIP Report) to support the focus (EurekaConnect POP Report) and define an approach that will produce evidence of success.

This is a dynamic collaboration process that leverages daily activities in one’s personal and professional life. It allows for constant engagement in the development process. Peer development does not require significant additional time solely for development as the development occurs in the course of performing daily activities. Unlike a typical professional coach, a peer program allows people to develop skills in the context of the job, allowing for better alignment with the existing business challenges, organizational structure and organizations culture that can be imposable for an external coach to understand or incorporate into the teachings.

Another significant advantage of a peer development program is that you shorten the development process and achieve faster outcomes by taking the program participant from learn, what is it you need to develop, to grow, engagement in the process of learning to lead responsibility, engaging people in teaching as they work with their peer. It is the same way we teach doctors in a medical school environment: see one, do one, and teach one.

The program can be further enhanced through extension to a personal relationship and a mentor. When a person is accountable to a spouse they create consistency in the messaging. They enlist a person who is close to them and tends to know them better than others.

When we are accountable to a mentor we invoke a sense of responsibility. We tend to respect our mentors and find their time a valuable commodity that we do not want to waste. We respect their feedback and are able to get a very different assessment of our actions.

By using a well-designed approach to personal and professional development, we will be able to prepare people for the uncertainties of the future. We will immediately affect their performance and help them to adapt to the challenges they and their organizations will face.

Note: Scores and profiles referenced in this article refer to characteristics defined in the EurekaConnect Behavioral Dynamics program

About the author: Curtis R. Sprouse is the President and CEO of EurekaConnect, LLC. Curtis has spent more than 25 years building companies and consulting for hundreds of the fortune 500 companies.

EurekaConnect, LLC uses proven technologies and data driven solutions that objectively and measurably improve organizational performance. For more information please email: customerservice@eurekaconnect.com.

Article references:

The Effects of Personal Accountability and Personal Responsibility Instruction on Select Off-Task and Positive Social Behaviors

Sharpe, Tom; Balderson, Daniel

Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, v24 n1 p66-87 Jan 2005

This study examined the effects of personal accountability and personal responsibility instructional treatments on elementary-age, urban, at-risk physical education students. A multiple treatment (ABAD, ACAD, ADA, control) behavior-analysis design was implemented across four distinct matched class settings to determine the separate and combined treatment effects of each instructional treatment on the number of occurrences and percentage of class time for the following: teacher management, student leadership, passive and disruptive student off-task, positive social, and student conflict and conflict resolution behaviors. Study participants included fourth- and fifth-grade students from four elementary classes in an inner-city charter-school setting. Results indicated that both personal accountability and personal responsibility treatments were effective in the primary treatment setting for changing all managerial, off-task, and positive social measures in desirable directions with the personal responsibility treatment particularly effective with more complex behaviors of positive social behavior and student conflict resolution. Recommendations include analysis of the potential long-range and generalized effects of social-skill instruction for underserved children and youth conducted in the context of physical education classes. (Contains 4 tables and 5 figures.)

Descriptors: Grade 5, Social Behavior, Student Leadership, Physical Education, Conflict, Accountability, Conflict Resolution, Student Attitudes,Elementary School Students, At Risk Persons, Behavioral Sciences, Grade 4, Research, Grade 4, Interpersonal Competence, Student Behavior,Urban Schools, Charter Schools, Responsibility

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