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Have we become robots?

According to new research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and MoralDNA™, many managers are choosing to dismiss their hearts and minds in decision-making and instead are taking a robotic-like, rule-following approach.  The increasing rules, regulations and targets set in place in the workplace are making managers push aside their feelings and emotions when making decisions…

The report found that 74% of managers are at risk of overlooking the impact of their decisions at work on others, this is 28% more than among the general population.  The report divided the population into six different character types according to whether their heart and mind, or rule compliancy took more precedence when decision-making.  The results showed a much higher percentage of managers whose characters chose to strictly comply with rules (Enforcers, Judges and Philosophers) at 74%, compared to those who used a more emotive route to decision-making (Angels, Teachers, Guardians) at 25%.

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of CMI, commented “If the values and behaviours of those managing and leading organisations are out of kilter with those groups, they won’t be run in a way that properly serves customers and stakeholders or gets the best out of employees.”

A one-dimensional, faceless workplace which does not utilise their hearts and minds in decision-making can only have negative impacts on employees.  Of course it is important to take rules into account, but also just as important is to engage personal feelings and thoughts when making decisions.  The research proving that managers are significantly more likely to blindly follow rules and lose sight of their principles than the general population, is worrying as these are the people who are having a direct effect and managing others.

To ensure you do not get caught in this trap, follow these four steps when deciding on outcomes:

  • Step back to allow yourself space to reflect on the situation and implications
  • Stand up for what you believe in
  • Be professional – make sure you still abide by your professional body’s standards
  • Engage and empower employees through giving them responsibility to make their own decisions and to think about the impact of their actions

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