Bringing Out the Best in People – Book Review

In a modern working environment, performance management needs to be updated regularly to meet the organizational standards. When an employer is eager to learn about gaining maximum performance from their employees, “Bringing Out the Best in People” by renowned psychologist Aubrey Daniels is the best source to consult. Daniels’s ability to utilize scientifically centered behavioral stimuli to the work setting and make it fun simultaneously makes this book a great resource for evaluation and analysis. In “Bringing out the best from people,” Daniels explains that reinforcement’s power and simplicity are the keys to maximum performance in an organization.

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            The book is a great resource based on its significant strengths. The book’s first strength is that Aubrey Daniels uses the Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence (ABC) theory to form the foundation of his transformation management theory. According to Daniels, positive reinforcement encompasses individual consequences after the portrayal of the intended behavior. To succeed in behavior transformation, Daniels (2016) notes that “we need to predefine the expected behavior we want to promote in our company and the outcomes of showing such behaviors.”

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            The reliance on ABC theory to define organizational behavior change management works to its advantage. It makes a person find himself in a scenario that requires immediate action – the antecedent. After that, Daniels elaborates how an employee can have the potential to select how to react to the problem at hand – to show behavior, as ABC theory puts it, that the behavior that will be portrayed is depended on the anticipated outcome at an individual level commonly referred to as the consequences of our actions. Daniels continues by writing, “these consequences can either be positive and worth to be rewarded or negative and the consequences that a person chooses today will significantly affect the same circumstances soon.” According to ABC theory, three fundamental elements determine behavior. The first factor is that it is a matter of concern for people to assess whether the consequence is negative or positive. The second factor is that it matters for everyone to determine whether the result is certain or uncertain and whether an individual will face the consequences with delay or directly.  Daniels suggests that to change behavior, employers should target positive consequences that are certain to occur, and with no delays. In other terms, Daniels is encouraging us always to reinforce a positive desired behavior immediately it manifests.

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            The only limitation I noticed with Daniels’s book is that he does not give the practical framework that employers can use to train their labor force short of positive consequences effectively. Behavior is an imperative factor in delivering and designing performance mechanisms in organizations. Running through the practice exercise and ABC theory proposed by Daniels may sway the workers’ attention. Therefore, a concise training model ought to have been discussed in the book to guide the HR departments in identifying the company’s positive behaviors.

            However, the “Bringing out the Best in People” has accomplished its primary objective of presenting an interactive model that employers can adopt to modify their workers’ performance. Daniels succeeds in advocating for the book’s aim by demonstrating four types of consequences that can be applied to learn or unlearn behavior. These four consequences are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and penalty. Positive behavior implies that a worker who exhibits the desired behavior in a company is rewarded with something valuable. On the other hand, negative reinforcement means that an employee displays the desired behavior as they want to alienate from particular consequences. As per Daniels, undesired punishment behavior is discouraged by giving that person something they do not wish to have. Moreover, Daniels adds that a penalty is given to employees who want to unlearn some behaviors by taking something valuable from them that they would not wish to lose. To effectively ensure that his objective is attained, Daniels stresses that the primary aspect of motivating people to transform their character is far the most critical since it is the only strategy that can encourage people to portray the wanted behavior permanently.

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            There is no element of biasness in the book. It only focuses on defining the desired behavior and the one that should be reinforced in an organization to earn maximum performance from employees. The book’s main focus was to create the link between individual behaviors and organizational goals on the highest level. Therefore, Daniels’ goals were to link the firm’s KPI and behavioral indicators’ vision and objectives on a personal level. And since the author accomplished his dream, it means there is no bias.            

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“Bringing out the Best in People” is complete as it has no salient information missing. The book defines standard work and documents what people can do to advance their behaviors, especially for indirect purposes. This approach helps the book to eradicate challenges encountered when determining someone’s performance. The book covers behavior management to achieve maximum performance. The book’s tone is that showing great performance due to behavior transformation. Unusual behavior is the recipe for achieving maximum performance. According to Daniels (2016), misbehaving should not get any feedback from managers and colleagues. Eventually, that individual will stop showing that behavior. However, every time a person shows good behavior, he should be granted positive reinforcement through verbal compliments and implementation. Therefore, the book elaborates behavior change management models and performance improvement criteria to the fullest. The current context of the issue is that organizational performance is becoming a public problem. Many firms want to get a competitive advantage, and the only way is by being unique in the industry. Daniels recommends that organizations adopt the ABC theory to direct individual pat as the most appropriate way to reinforce the new behavior.

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