Is it important for a person to know much about psychology? Furthermore, how much do you think the average businessperson needs to know about psychology?

It’s my opinion that some businesspeople, especially in some U.S. industries, have strange ideas about psychology. Many managers seem to think they can forget it and run their business by numbers alone. They seem to believe that if they have a good enough understanding of things like profit and loss, cash flow, economic forecasts, and credit sources, they know all they need to know to be successful.

In many organizations, managers have come up through the ranks. Prior to a few short decades ago, managers were home-grown. They tended to hire in at a younger age, started at the bottom and worked through many positions before ending their careers. They adapted to the organization environment with thought processes inspired mostly by culture norms, etc.

In more recent times, however, managers have graduated business school, hired in and generally started at mid-management levels and still rose through the ranks. The big difference is the foundation of their thought processes. The earlier manager learned from doing and observing results. The later manager mostly learned from professors who had little first-hand experience but planted their ideas in the soil of loose thinking of inexperienced, eager and ambitious students.

For the more modern manager, the psychology of human behavior has just never seemed important enough for their time and attention. However, if the average businessperson doesn't think psychology is important, the highly successful ones know better.

Malcolm S. Forbes, the late American entrepreneur most prominently known as the publisher of Forbes magazine, once said "There are those of us who think that the psychology of man, each and together, has more impact on markets, business, services, construction, and the entire fabric of an economy than all the more measurable statistical indices."

Therefore, if anyone is serious about succeeding in business, or in any endeavor where the end-result depends on people, they would do well to find out what is happening in the worlds of cognitive, organizational and social psychology.

The best evidence tells us that quality, productivity, and customer service are the results of beliefs, attitudes and expectations as much, or more, than the good skills and systems. It is the people working within the organization who really define your organizational culture, and psychology lies at the very foundation of your people.

Think about it…