I introduced in my last column several of the blockages businesses often confront in their pursuit of excellence and success. I defined these blockages and elaborated on some negative results these barriers bring to a company afflicted with them. In case you missed it, the column appears on the Business Times website , In this column, I’d like to continue where I left off, starting with some key questions: Did you use these past two weeks to become more aware of the blockages in your business? If so, what barriers to the smooth and efficient flow of your business operations did you identify?
Did you come to an understanding of what blockages exist in your business, where and why they exist and how much they cost you in real terms? Are you now focused on eliminating blockages for good?
If all of this seems daunting or overwhelming or you don’t know where to begin or how to go about addressing the barriers to the success of your business, you’re not alone. The reality, however, is that it’s not difficult. The solutions are simple:
Communication: A leading barrier to personal and professional success is ineffective communication. The first step in overcoming the limitations inherent in poor communication is to become an absolute listener. While most people believe they’re excellent listeners, it’s usually not the case. Training your team to be effective listeners will position them to realize, typically for the first time, just how much information they’re actually missing.
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. 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, the gaps in communication are all but eliminated.
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 people possess 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 seasoned team member, engaging a qualified coach with proven assessment and training skills can help these team members develop their skills to become productive and contributing members of a successful organization.
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. By implementing the priceless information contained within personal assessments, employers gain unbiased and accurate insights into current team member and new hire candidate attitudes early and act accordingly With the guidance of a trained professional, business owners and managers then can make informed decisions regarding the retention or dismissal of a team member who has a bad attitude. Business owners and managers can also make solid 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 these individuals, to help them improve and become loyal members of their team.
Desire: It’s imperative that team members want to be an active, skilled and positive part of the businesses for which they work. When an individual’s motivation aligns with his or her position and with the vision of the company, success becomes the norm rather than the exception. Assessing a person’s motivations and utilizing this information to place them in the appropriate seat on the bus positions both the team member and company for greater success.
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 and collaboration improves, customer service rises to new levels, costly errors decline, customers feel genuinely appreciated and cared for and your business will forever stand out in their minds.