When most people picture a psychologist, they visualize a doctor who works with people to improve their mental health. But in recent years, psychologists have found their place in the business environment, too. Business psychology is a new trend that has emerged as a way to solve problems and improve the efficiency and competitiveness of businesses – and when it’s partnered with technology solutions, business psychology can really help businesses and their employees thrive.
Business psychology principles are a great starting point for evaluating your employees’ (and your own!) skills, effectiveness and development. In the professional community, this is often assessed through “behavioral indicators”, which are used to measure performance. So how can you use these? And what apps or technology solutions might come into play? Read on to learn more.
Does business psychology really work?
Business psychology studies business as an environment of personal development. After all, in business as in life, people are usually striving for something, trying to develop themselves, making plans, and solving problems. The scope of business psychology includes things like decision-making and motivation, professional development and self-determination, professional competencies, and so on.
When assessing yourself or your employees from a business psychology standpoint, it’s important not to over- or underestimate. Try to assess competencies and areas for improvement in an honest way. You can then use the results to create the most effective individual development plan.
Skills for developing and maintaining business relationships (networking)
Meaning: You know how to build long-term, trusting relationships with partners and clients.
Planning and time management skills
Meaning: You plan and manage your time as effectively as possible.
- Prioritizing tasks according to their importance and urgency, focusing on the most important
- Aiming to minimize time-killers in your schedule
- Regularly and systematically following a planned schedule
- Including rest in your schedule and distracting yourself from all worries (even during a business trip, you might devote a few hours of free time to renting a Lamborghini in Dubai!)
- Being flexible in your time planning; being able to adapt your schedule without a drastic impact on the quality of tasks accomplished
- Effectively delegating tasks (that can be delegated) and overseeing/controlling the progress of their accomplishment
- Skillfully using planning tools such as network diagrams and Gantt charts
- Using the SMART tool when planning: checking goals and objectives for specificity, measurability, achievability, relevance, and timeframe
- Effectively using tools for planning and time allocation
- Respecting other people’s time
Relevant technology solutions:
- Digital organization and planning tools
- Apps that integrate/sync details across different devices and between different programs (emails, calendars, schedules etc.)
- Specific time management apps such as RescueTime and Toggl
Psychologists point out that the main problem many executives and managers have with time management is the delegation of tasks and responsibilities. This can be a hard one to master, but even if you think you know the best way to do everything, remember that it’s not your job to perform the duties of other employees. Your role as a manager is not to answer the phone, take pictures of new products, or deliver orders instead of a courier. You can safely delegate these kinds of tasks to your staff, leaving your time free for focusing on planning, developing long-term strategies, scaling the business, and other higher-level activities.
- Effectively establishing contact with others regardless of situation and social status
- Constructive, interesting, and quick self-presentation
- Ability to maintain a conversation in any situation
- Effectively searching for areas of interest and interaction opportunities
- Recognizing individuality of each person and adapt communication and behavior accordingly
- Consistently maintaining communication with already established contacts
- Seizing every opportunity to expand the scope of your business contacts
- Always looking for opportunities to help the other person in solving their problems
- Focusing on “give more, take less” and “win-win” strategies
Relevant technology solutions:
- Professional networking sites like LinkedIn
- Social networking sites like Facebook
- Conference, event and experience solutions like Bizzabo
Convincing and argumentation skills
Meaning: You effectively achieve your goals, even on controversial issues, while maintaining and strengthening relationships.
- Understanding the perspectives of others and respond appropriately to them
- Reaching your goals while taking into account the goals of your opponents
- Selecting the best strategy for maximum goal-oriented behavior in an argument
- Instilling confidence in your arguments
- Using reference resources when arguing
- Revealing the essence of a problem and effectively presenting the proposed solutions
- Using an “invisible” strategy of argument
- Leading the conversation to compromise or mutually beneficial solutions and developing win-win methods of reaching an agreement
- Responding appropriately to different points of view and understanding how to apply the information gained
- Developing creative solutions to “unsolvable” problems, for example, design thinking, troubleshooting, synectics, etc
Relevant technology solutions:
- Communication technology such as Zoom and Slack
- Project management and team communication technology such as Basecamp
- Mental health apps that teach cognitive and communication principles, such as Talkspace, Calm and Sanvello
Psychologists are often tasked with developing communication skills in their clients. This is just as important in the business world. Mastering simple techniques like reframing (changing point of view or perspective on an issue or situation) can help in conversations and discussions with clients and colleagues.
Inspired by the principles of business psychology, we’ll leave you with these final tips and thoughts to pass on to your employees or consider in your own development:
- Your growth is your responsibility.
- Find yourself a mentor.
- Learn to spend your free time on self-development.
- Constantly take on new projects and interesting tasks, and get out of your comfort zone.
- Read business literature that will be useful to you at every stage of your career.
- Go to events that align with your career and business goals.
- Research technology solutions and use them to your advantage.
By focusing on all the above principles and behavioral indicators, you’ll see results in yourself and your team in no time!