I introduced in my previous column several all too common blockages most businesses confront in their pursuit of excellence and success. I identified, defined and elaborated on these blockages and some of the negative results these barriers bring to a company afflicted with them. In case you missed it, the column appears on the Business Times Web site at www.thebusinesstimes.com.
In this column, I’d like to continue where I left off by asking some key questions. Did you use these last two weeks to become more aware of the blockages in your business? If so, what barriers did you identify? Did you come to understand where and why these blockages to the smooth and efficient flow to your operations exist and how much they cost you in real terms? Are you now solidly focused on eliminating these blockages for good? If not, why not?
If all of this seems overwhelming or you don’t know where to begin or how to go about addressing barriers to the success of your business, you’re not alone. Answers and solutions exist, and that’s where enlisting qualified professional help comes into the picture.
Communication: Ineffective communication poses a leading barrier to personal and professional success. The first step in overcoming the limitations inherent in poor communication is to become an effective listener. While most people believe they’re excellent listeners, that’s typically not the case. When individuals listen to reply rather than to understand, their own mental agenda limits their ability to take in the body language, tone and words necessary for communication success.
Training team members to be effective listeners will position them to realize, typically for the first time, just how much information they’re actually missing. As this blockage is overcome with training and persistent effort, miscommunications begin to disappear.
Professional assessments provide vital information that, when applied correctly, position team members to understand their differing communication styles like never before. When this newfound understanding is combined with improved listening skills, gaps in communication are all but eliminated.
Attitude: Positive team member attitudes are invaluable to any business that wants to achieve lasting success. Most business owners, however, hire for skill and fire for attitude. This discovery takes time and, typically, corrective action is taken only after the damage from extensive negativity has been done.
With the guidance of a qualified professional and proven assessments, owners and managers can make informed decisions as to whether or not a candidate should be hired in the first place. In addition, these leaders can accurately gauge the potential return of investing in the development of individuals with bad attitudes to help them improve and become a solid member of their teams. Owners and managers also can make solid decisions regarding the dismissal of a team member who has a bad attitude and is unwilling to change.
Desire: It’s imperative that team members want to be active, skilled and positive parts of the businesses for which they work. When an individual’s motivation aligns with his or her position and the vision of the company, success and job satisfaction become the norm rather than the exception.
Understanding the keys to managing and motivating a team member is invaluable to any manager who desires to bring out the best in his or her people on a consistent basis. Assessing motivations and using this information to help people be their best positions team members and companies for greater success.
Talents and skills: How do you really know if the person you’re hiring for a position truly has the talents and skills necessary to perform the job? The truth is, most of the time you don’t. Using statistically accurate and proven assessment tools allows you to know with certainty the talents and skills a person possesses before you hire them. This saves a tremendous amount of time and other valuable resources.
In addition, professionally administered assessments reveal where individuals have weaknesses in their skill sets. Whether for a new hire or with a seasoned team member, engaging a qualified coach with proven assessment and training skills can help these team members develop their skills to become more productive members of a successful organization.
When these and other blockages are identified and then removed through professional assessments, trainings and coaching, barriers to excellence and business success are eliminated. Team morale, collaboration and customer service improves, costly errors decline, customers feel genuinely appreciated and cared for and your business will forever stand out in their minds.