A top IBM exec is also a psychologist and says all bosses should know one basic tenet of human behaviour
- IBM senior vice president Bridget van Kralingen is known for creating and leading IBM’s blockchain business.
- But she started her career as an industrial psychologist.
- In a recent interview, she offered some great tidbits on what bosses need to understand about human behaviour.
In the tech world, IBM senior vice president Bridget van Kralingen is known for creating and leading IBM’s blockchain business. Because of van Kralingen, IBM is considered a leader in all things crypto among the major tech companies.
But long before she became one of IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s top leaders and was credited with helping Rometty execute IBM’s massive, multi-year turnaround, van Kralingen was an industrial psychologist and researcher back in her home country of South Africa.
In a fun interview with The Wall Street Journal, van Kralingen offered a few interesting nuggets of advice about being a manager. The Journal asked her, based on her background as a psychologist, “what’s the one thing every boss should know about human behaviour?”
Her answer: People “love affirmation.”
In other words, employees want to know when they’re doing things right. Seems simple enough, but research shows that this concept almost can’t be overstated in the workplace. “Employees overwhelmingly choose receiving words of affirmation as the primary way they like to be shown appreciation in the workplace,” writes psychologist Dr. Paul White, based on research from 100,000 employees.White has published several books on workplace motivation.
In the WSJ interview, van Kralingen also offered another, related bit of managerial advice. The best way to run a meeting is to “start with the goals and objectives and to make sure that everyone knows that they are interdependent to get those goals and objectives met.”
Here’s the whole interview.
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