“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” – Jim Rohn
Chances are you started your business to provide a solution to the marketplace and make money. As your business grows, you learn quickly that you cannot be all things to all people. You may hire or contract people to provide a service for you. No matter how much you strategize you need to know that to build your business you must focus on building your people. As your people grow so will your company.
One of the greatest challenges and opportunities is people building. What I love the most is being able to witness to the transformation and growth of people – doing things they never thought possible for them.
Identify Areas of Strengths and Potential
Do not assume that your employees know their strengths. They may be aware of some of their strengths and not aware of others. You have heard the phrase, “can’t see the forest through the trees.” It is a phrase that explains that if you look too closely at the details you can miss the big picture. Those strengths are the ones that occur so naturally that they do not even see them as strengths; it is a part of who they are. When you can speak to what they are capable of doing, you start to plan seeds of encouragement. Who they have yet to become should have some focus NOT just what they do for you. By speaking to their potential and offering support, you increase their self-confidence, motivation, and loyalty. You may be one of the few people who has ever believed in them or took the time to be interested in their goals and what they want.
Provide Meaningful Feedback
Research shows that most people leave positions because they do not feel valued or appreciated for the skills and abilities they bring to the workplace. It does not mean you douse them with praise because doing so will come off as insincere. They may begin to wonder if you want something from them instead of being interested in them for who they are as a person.
There is a way to deliver feedback with impact. No one wants unsolicited advice so ask for permission to share your observations or input. People are less defensive if you ask first as now the conversation is two-way which feedback can be shared both ways. Feedback needs to be thoughtfully delivered to ensure the person you are giving feedback to remains in tact as a person. They need to be able to trust that you have their best interests at heart.
According to Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen’s book, Thanks for the Feedback, there are 3 forms of feedback: Appreciation, Coaching, and Evaluation. You need to ensure that the person you are providing feedback to understands which feedback you are delivering. You need to provide more praise than criticism for people to have a rapport with you. When correcting or providing feedback, avoid the use of “Why did you…” or “How come you…”. These statements come across as accusatory and put people on the defensive. They become more upset with you that the feedback you are delivering. You are better to ask open-ended questions to learn more about their perspective on the situation and challenge your own assumptions. If they provide feedback to you, all you have to say is, “Thank you I will consider it” and nothing more. There are times when providing feedback can feel uncomfortable. Before reacting, give yourself time to thinking about it so you may respond appropriately. Take time to reflect on the feedback and see if it something you find useful or not. If you found it helpful, great – integrate it into your practice. If not, don’t take it personally and move on.
Focus on the Positive
When one of your employees or customers starts to complain or vent, hear them out. Thank them for them for expressing themselves – reframe the conversation. Ask for them to explain what the ideal situation would be. Use this as a learning opportunity. There may even be some quick action steps that you could take from the recommendations and they will feel as if someone heard them and valued their insight. They will feel more empowered to take actions toward the common goals.
Offer Learning Opportunities
There are many ways for your employees to learn new things. You can hire a coach, gift a book, or send them to a course or let them attend a workshop or conference. Investing in your people is important. They can build their network and share some of the golden nuggets that they have learned.
Provide Opportunity to Stretch and Advance their Skills
As new opportunities come up, see if you can involve or delegate some tasks to your employees so that they can grow and learn new skill sets. When people are learning and growing, they look forward to their roles and start thinking about how to integrate what they already know to the role.
Building people is one of the most valuable investments you can make. As you work with them to grow and change, you help change the world – even if it is your world and your bottom line. The ripple effect will extend to all who interact with them.
How do you build your people?
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DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free e-book download today! www.debrakasowski.com