Q1: How did Hastings change his use of communications in sending and receiving messages from Pure Software to Netflix?
As we know, communication is a two-way street made up of both sending and truly receiving (understanding) messages. “Leadership is about influencing others, which we do through communications, and it comes through relationships, which are also based on communications.” (Page 192). This quote is relevant because it stresses the importance of good communication, as the basis for founding good relationships and ultimately being an effective leader.
Hastings, known as “Animal” to his employees, earned his nickname from using ineffective communication. He was considered hardheaded and ran his business very autocratically. With that, he may have stepped on a few toes with his nonverbal body language. It was said he would embarrass employees with eye rolling and critical comments about dumb ideas, while not being able to take criticism himself. His feedback to his employees was very negative. He was not using coaching feedback, which is based on a good supportive relationship, the feedback being specific and descriptive it is not judgmental criticism. (Pg. 207).
Hastings was able to change his use of communication with the start of Netflix. “Hastings was determined to create a culture in which people enjoyed coming to every day.” (Page 222). Instead of running his company autocratically, he changed his style to be participative. This communication style has a low task/high relationship behavior. Typical responses to messages are responding very honestly and directly, asking questions if he is unsure. A typical response might be, “I don’t understand how your idea will work, so help me to understand how it will solve the problem.” (Page 222). Along with his communication, Hastings has worked on his nonverbal cues as well, no longer humiliate his employees by rolling his eyes at them or criticizing their input.
Q2: How did Hastings change his use of feedback from Pure Software to Netflix?
As I mentioned above, Hastings was very ineffective with the use of his feedback to his employees at Pure Software. Feedback is defined as the process of verifying messages and determining if objectives are being met. Hastings changed his feedback of rolling eyes at employees and criticizing their ideas to being honest and direct and asking questions, or verifying the message.
It was said that Hastings was unable to accept criticism. He also changed that, which is a part of feedback. This is essential to improve performance. Feedback from his employees would help him to be able to realize what he could work on and what he could do better in an attempt to found good working relationships with his employees.
Q3: How did Hastings change his use of coaching guidelines (Exhibit 6.3) from Pure Software to Netflix?
At Pure Software, Hastings failed to avoid blame and embarrassment. As I’ve stated previously, he would roll his eyes at employees and criticize their ideas. This type of behavior does not focus on the behavior, but rather focuses on the person in a negative way. It can obviously make someone feel bad about themselves and does not serve as a learning experience. “The objective of coaching is to develop employee’ knowledge, skills and abilities.” (Page 204). Criticizing or trying to embarrass your employees will not bring out the best in them. I know personally, it would have the opposite effect on me and make me withdraw. Criticizing can lead to defensive behavior, not listening, and leading to the employee not liking the task and the manager. This section also ties into how he was very critical of his employees. Placing blame and embarrassment toward an employee is ineffective.
At Netflix, it seems as though Hastings was able to develop a supportive working relationship with his employees. He wanted to be able to develop a culture in which people enjoyed coming to work everyday. In order to develop a good