Behavior Selection vs. Behavior Modification

December 9th, 2010 — 12:45pm

Yesterday one of my executive coaches said to me “CEO’s are in the business of behavior selection more than behavior modification.” This rings true to me. As managers of employees our job is to select people who already behave the way we need them to, much more than it is to try to motivate people to behave differently than they normally do. I think this applies most strongly to things we learn early in life (our personality, how we interact with other people, our learning style, etc) and not as much to things we learn as adults on the job (processes, technical skills, etc). Select employees, don’t try to modify employees.