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Admin 2022-06-24 15:50:32

THE HOT-STOVE RULE

" Good attitudes make good institutions. "

I credit this chapter to the American Professor Douglas Murray McGregor who developed theories in Management in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He is the advocate of the hot-stove rule as a disciplinary tool at the workplace. He used an interesting analogy between the hot-stove and employees. When you mould the team, the next phase is to shape attitudes. Impose disciplinary actions with clear understanding of policies. Stimulating umbrages and unnecessary negative energies break teams. Good teams require adequate knowledge, skills and good application of the hot-stove theory. I always use the hot-stove rule and it hasn't failed me yet. In my people management experience, I apply the hot-stove rule to shape attitudes and mind-sets. !e hot-stove is a tool to influence positive attitudes and discipline fairly negative behaviours at work. To avoid skirting around the main issues, the hot-stove rule brings clarity to leader motives.

To be successful in using the hot-stove rule, employees must first know about it. You can choose to do a full orientation on it, so to communicate intentions with maximum respect and all seriousness. First, the stove is 'on fire', obviously it's hot. In other words, it will burn you when you touch it or you can feel the heat when you are getting close to the stove. The stove doesn't know any employee. It is just a stove. It's impersonal. Any disciplinary measure imposed should befit the weight of the offence and not the individual. The stove is not selective. It is worth noting that the stove is always hot and it thus burns immediately you touch it. You don't touch the hot-stove and feel the heat or hurt, later. Punishment and processes towards punishment shouldn't delay unnecessarily. To sum it up, the hot-stove is consistent each day, each time and to everyone who touches it. Punishment is super immediate. The hot-stove rule simplifies disciplinary actions in good institutions.

It is a tool to build, to correct and to shape attitudes for workplace performance. I use it to inoculate cancerous teams because of the contagion effect in team building. Although good attitude is infectious, bad attitude is also pandemic. John C. Maxwell hinted that, good attitude may not guarantee success, but bad attitude surely guarantees failure. The hot-stove rule checks bad attitudes and stinking behaviours from spreading within teams. It is a good tool for effective feedback. To manage the contagion effect of attitudes, it is always crucial for leaders to tap into the broader understanding and the use of the hot-stove. I have had beautiful moments with the hot-stove rule. Anytime you tell your followers what you expect from them, tell them what you do not expect from them. Don't leave grey areas when establishing a culture at the workplace.

Manage team boundaries and manage team excesses. Cut every fat and stick to the flesh when dealing with disciplinary issues. If you don't let your team know that they are not at liberty to do, they will be at liberty to do everything because you didn't tell them. !e whole idea about the hot- stove rule is to get the right fit. I liken discipline at the workplace to a rotten finger of banana in the midst of a bunch of good bananas. If you kept the rotten one among the team, the good ones will be rotten in some few days. If you plucked the rotten one out, the good ones may stay longer even if they are not well preserved. Disciplinary decisions are choices. There is always a progressive line linking attitudes to a firm's performance. Good attitudes make good institutions. You can only get the team to focus on the corporate strategy when you shape their attitudes to connect to the organisation's mission. Remember, an institution is successful when it fully utilizes employees' potentials. It starts and ends with discipline.

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