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Human iceberg holds the key to unlocking people potential

2nd June 2016

A fledgling business from Hull joined forces with a global industrial giant to share insight on how to unlock the potential of employees from junior to director level by digging deep into desire and motivation.

Trans2 Performance was only launched two years ago yet has already been recruited by the human resources team at the landmark Siemens site in Hull to help with the development of the 1,000-strong workforce.

Martin Johnson, CEO of Trans2 Performance, told members and guests of the Hull Businesswomen’s Breakfast Club (HBWBC) of some of his techniques for digging deeper to trigger an individual’s desire and motivation.

Carolyn Woolway, Head of HR for Siemens Hull, said the human iceberg approach introduced by Trans2 has already been applied with 120 of her site’s leaders, who will influence their colleagues. She said: “We are finding that a lot of people want to be involved and there is an opportunity to help people understand their subconscious motivators whilst providing practical tools and techniques for being an effective leader. It’s not about changing people; it’s about realising potential.”

Martin launched Trans2 Performance, based at The Deep Business Centre, which sponsored the event. Drawing on the experience of his career in the Royal Navy and senior roles with the Butler Group and Gartner Associates, Martin led the company in quickly building up a client base of professional sports teams, charities, education companies and the military. He has since added major employers including Siemens and Jet2.

The HBWBC invited prominent business people to join their own members for their annual Humber Business Week event held at The Deep, where Martin highlighted the human iceberg principle as a key approach to unlocking potential.

He said: “I feel really passionate about unlocking potential and we focus heavily on this area with every client we deal with. We need to understand our people at a deeper level and find out what is regulating their behaviour.

“If you can understand the human iceberg you can really coach and mentor people – 90 per cent of training that I come across focuses on above-the-waterline factors. We have to try and uncover what is below the waterline.

“The second level is unconscious motivators, which include such desires as to enjoy life and be happy, to be knowledgeable and smart, to succeed and achieve, to be strong and self-reliant. At the bottom of the iceberg is sense of purpose. For a human being, attempting to prove a point is an immensely powerful emotion.

“Some of the biggest mistakes I have seen are the result of people trying to improve behaviour characteristics without understanding them properly. By digging a little bit deeper you can come up with an entirely different outcome.”

Claire Suggitt, Chair of HBWBC, said: “Most of the people who attended are business owners or business influencers and they were engrossed by an astounding presentation on a fascinating subject. They will take away some strong messages and look at how those ideas apply in the contexts of their own organisations.”

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