Last Updated 06 Jul 2021

Methods and skills to develop

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The need for self-actualisation:

Maslow defined self-actualisation as man's desire for self-fulfilment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualised in what he is potentially the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming. The clear emergence of these needs usually rests upon prior satisfaction of the physiological, safety, love and esteem needs.

Maslow's theory is widely used for explaining why different needs and motives may be expected to operates in different situation, despite the fact that Maslow was so preoccupied with the individual, the theory as understood by many managers doesn't stress individual differences or suggest the idea that each person will have a unique set of needs and values. Rather it induces in them the on-the-average way of thinking about individuals rather than groups. Yet the five sets of need in the hierarchy still serve a most useful purpose. Together they form a sketch map no more of individual needs for you to consider as a leader in the relation to each member of your team.

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"The Hygiene Factor" theory 'Job satisfaction' is a common phrase these days. It stems directly or indirectly from the influential motivational research of another American professor of psychology, Frederick Herzberg. Although much controversy surrounds his ideas he made an important and influential contribution to our understanding of motivation at work. In essence Herzberg made two claims.

First, he said that he had found evidence through studying the components of job satisfaction that people were in fact motivated by such 'higher' needs as achievement, recognition and self-actualisation. Secondly, he claimed that a practical programme of job enrichment in industry and commerce would create more job satisfaction by strengthening what he called the 'motivators'. Herzberg expounds on this theory at length and provides much supporting evidence in his book 'work and the nature man', he observes that the set of factor that produce job satisfaction are separate and distinct from set of factor that produce job dissatisfaction.

In this dimension the employee seeks personal growth from the task being performed; however, absence of this growth does not cause pain. The other axis is the hygiene axis. In this dimension the employee tries to avoid pain from the environment; however, avoidance of this pain or the environment issues that cause the pain does not produce satisfaction.

The acquired competencies lend themselves to identification through techniques such as the application form and curriculum vitae, ability tests, and structured interviews. Similarly work simulation or telephone screening can also be used to identify the acquired competencies. Techniques suitable for the adapting competencies include personality testing, structured behavioural interviewing, and structured situational interviewing. Assessment centres, which comprise a range of techniques such as testing, interviewing and exercises, can have individual components of the assessment centre targeted on natural, required and adapting competencies.

Biodata are suitable for identifying natural, acquired and adapting competencies but the nature of the technique means that it is not possible to identify which particular competency is being identified, since it works on matching rather than analysis. Generally speaking, clearly defined requirements such as experience or qualifications which come under the acquired competencies are suitable for identification through explicit measurements such as application forms or straightforward interviews or tests of ability.

The less visible aspects, such as personality characteristics which are to be found in the natural competencies, are better identified through indirect or subtle techniques such as testing. The adapting competencies are more suited to identification through dynamic techniques, such as interviewing, which enable elements to be explored on an interactive basis, but personality testing can identify the propensity to be adaptable, and assessment centre exercises and work simulations can attempt to replicate the real workplace dynamics.


With these three parts we have a good focus on the methods and skills to develop and to choose your team with the aim to increase productivity, higher levels of commitment and output, improved cooperation, better communication, more ideas and creativity, and generally a higher level of energy and motivation.

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