Recovery Behavior Leadership

We can’t punish our way to success and we can’t reprimand our way to great achievements.

When people don’t collaborate, it’s usually because they don’t know how.

In a group using Collaborative Group Behaviors, from now on error will be responded to with a Recovery Behavior process.

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” —Alexander Pope

“To err is human; to retrain the human with Recovery Behaviors that will save a planet, divine.”

—Robert Donaldson

I have always been impressed by how honestly and respectfully Bob treated each participant and conducted his activities in a manner that allowed everyone to express themselves and yet lead the discussion candidly and productively. —Joseph Covello

Each and every single Collaborative Group Behavior also has the necessary Recovery Behavior that leadership needs to use when a group member stumbles in his or her performance.

Step 1: The error is observed.

Step 2: Leadership gives Recovery Behavior feedback to get performance back up to minimum standards.

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 two more times if necessary.

Yes, 1, 2, 3—easy enough? Does this sound too easy?

As noted every Collaborative Group Behavior includes a specific Recovery Behavior description that gives the leader the information they need to provide feed back to the group member that needs retraining.

This process will work at rehabilitating over 90 percent of your error rate! And in doing so give people the tools to grow personally and professionally. In my experience, recovering from our mistakes is one of the most important wisdom-building processes a group can implement. As group members recover, one mistake at a time, the collective group wisdom is constantly growing. Using Collaborative Group Behaviors, Collaborative Leadership Initiatives AND Recovery Behaviors to RETRAIN your group moves the group and each person to greatness.

Replacing reprimand with Recovery Behaviors and more training will not only rehabilitate most of your group towards high levels of performance, but it will also clearly identify those who either A) have no desire to collaborate or B) for whatever reason are unable to collaborate. You can’t build a collaborative group by keeping people who have no desire or ability to collaborate.

By making sure Recovery Behaviors are used on a regular basis, the leader casts a wide net helping all those group members who enjoy being collaborative. This approach will significantly help those whom you might consider today as the least likely to go on to become high-performing collaborative group members. Don’t try to determine who will be collaborative and who won’t in the current group setting before you have had a chance to use Collaborative Group Behaviors.

Not using Recovery Behaviors when trying to build a collaborative group is a critical mistake. Most of the people you will ever meet want to do the right thing, and in my experience, when I found people not doing what I needed them to do, it was usually because they just didn’t know how. Simply providing more training as the first, second, and third default actions in response to error is highly effective.

Bob produced a small “Guide to Collaborative Behaviors” for our team—this guide has become one of my “go to” resources in working with other clients who struggle with difficult team dynamics. It always works! —Valerie J. Young

Be aware of two things: First, an ineffective training program shows up as an incompetency in the individual, inappropriately giving leadership the impression that the issue is automatically with the individual and not the training process. Second, in the many situations I have observed, leadership typically underestimates the amount of time and quality of training required to create a competent and effective human.

When the first and second scenarios are happening together, it does result in poor performance being demonstrated on the part of the individual. The leader-manager is then automatically led to believe that the poor performance issues are the sole responsibility of the individual, when instead the poor performance may be caused by an unrecognized systemic failure in the training program.

Listen to me here: each person wants control to feel competent. When people don’t feel competent, they fear being humiliated. But when they are trained to the extent where they are able to demonstrate the behavior required, it gives them an authentic sense of control and competency, and as competency goes up, the fear of humiliation goes down. As fear drops in an enhanced environment, collaboration goes up.

Consistent and well-performed training, that includes providing recovery from mistakes along the way, is what humans need from their leaders if they are going to be effective, collaborative, and contributing group member for mission success.

Bob was always cool headed and rational in his thinking and at his best in listening and then making assessments of the necessary actions to be taken. —Joseph Covello

If you combine a poor training program with the fact that most groups underestimate what it takes to train effectiveness into humans, what do you get? Ineffective behavior from people who are also scared of being humiliated. The fear of humiliation then prevents them from revealing the need for the type of training that would give them the same knowledge necessary that would then alleviate the fear of humiliation. A group environment where people are afraid of saying I don’t know will also be a group environment where they will feel uncomfortable providing the information necessary to promote their own competency and in doing so they also deny the group the ability to promote its own success!

After full implementation of Collaborative Group Behaviors, you will have replaced your reprimand default setting with wisdom building through the use of Recovery Behaviors. Error rates drop, a felt sense of competency on the part of each group member goes up, the fear of humiliation goes down, and the ability to collaborate goes up.

This is what happens in a high-performing enhanced environment. Give your people training, lots and lots of training. Focus training on their weakest skill set first, where they need it most. Encourage them to tell you where they think they need training. Once they feel safe enough to tell you and you are always focusing your training resources on the weakest skill set first as a top priority, you will be able to reduce group error rates by preventing errors on the part of the individual in advance of their probable occurrence.     

See how simple that is?

There will be times where an individual just doesn’t want to collaborate and won’t be a good fit for a group that is moving towards collaborative behaviors, yet if Recovery Behaviors are used regularly and consistently over time these examples will become few and far between.

Most of the people, most of the time, want to do the right thing. Be a good leader and help them get there:

Teach them how to recover by giving them the training they need !!

Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration. No one is better at creating this environment than Bob. —Duane Sandul

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I have worked very closely with Mr. Robert (Bob) Donaldson of Collaborative Strategies for over seven years. Bob is one of the most detail oriented and organized people I have ever met and displays these traits in his professional approach. Bob is extremely talented in his ability to work closely with others in strategic systems and organizations. He is able to bring many differing, and sometimes opposing, concepts together into one room and work out a collaborative solution to address whatever challenge the organization may be facing. I believe Bob’s absolute strongest skill is his ability to see the big picture related to the project at hand and set up systems that allow him or the designated project lead to organize and successfully carry out whatever project they are working to complete. This talent has been demonstrated not only on project related work, but also in workforce situations where Bob has organized teams to complete assignments in an orderly and structured manner…
Dan ChildManagerSouth Bayside System Authority