Last week I started to focus on Richard Voreis’ “Leadership Best Practices Self-Evaluation.”
The first three leadership traits we looked at were:
—Optimizing productivity without intimidation;
—Representing a role model with a high degree of ethical conduct; and
—Demonstrating imaginative leadership and imparting a vision for the future.
This week we’ll look at his next three:
—Excel in training, leading and motivating people;
—Communicate effectively to all employees; especially, the values and priorities that drive success; and
—In terms of effective communications, be known as an avid listener.
“Excel in training, leading and motivating people”
When it comes to training I’ve found that we expect our employees to learn something immediately after we have showed them what we need them to learn. We say the words, “Let me know if you have any questions” and when they actually come to us with questions, we say such things as, “I can’t believe it that you don’t remember what I showed you!”
Since we are in the middle of football season let’s put this in the terms of football: Teams practice five days for a 60-minute game. They run through play after play with highly paid, very intense athletes in order to run the play right on Sunday.
Do we do the same?
When we make our people feel stupid for coming to us with question about what we showed them the first time we do anything but lead or motivate them.
The other thing we don’t do is have them demonstrate what we showed them back to us. When we have them show us what they learned, just as a coach does with his professional team, we have the opportunity to either praise them or take the time and show them again so they become proficient at what we are teaching them. That not only motivates them—it makes us good leaders!
“Communicate effectively to all employees; especially, the values and priorities that drive success.”
Last year at The Dwyer Group’s Reunion, our (Glass Doctor’s) annual convention, I was introduced to one of the most powerful speakers I have ever seen—Walter Bond. (Check him out on YouTube.)
Walter gave me a paradigm shift with the word “communicate.” He said to change that word to “connect”.
Again, let’s take that back to football field. Do you want your team’s quarterback to communicate with his wide receiver or connect with him? If he connects it is a completed pass. If he communicates he is simply telling him the pass play he wants him to run.
If you are a parent I’m sure you have said these words, “How many time do I have to tell you, etc.” Why? You are simply communicating. You aren’t connecting with your child on why you want them to do whatever. I’m guilty of this as a husband often. I think I’ve communicated something to Mary Kay only to find out we didn’t really connect on it.
Let’s take that connection then to the next part of this statement, “especially the values and priorities that drive success.”
You have a job that needs to get done by someone on your staff that you lead, correct? When they understand ‘why’ it needs to get done right and the importance of what they do—regardless of what they are doing—you become a great leader. A successful office has a group of people working in unison. You need every member of that team to do their job. Again, look at the football analogy. There are special teams, offensive players, defensive players, etc. Not everybody can be a quarterback—neither would a coach want everyone to be the quarterback.
“In terms of effective communications, be known as an avid listener.”
If you want an accurate glimpse of how good of a listener you are ask your spouse, significant other or best friend—with the caveat to them that you need to know the truth! This will give you some insight to how good you are at this in your business.
I had a boss one time that gave me an education when it came to listening. His name was Lee Arthurs and I was his general manager in the water treatment business. I’d stick my head in his office and tell him I needed a few minutes. He’d get out his calendar and right then and there I’d make an appointment.
When I got to his office, usually a day or two later, not only did I come prepared but I walked into in office where everything was off Lee’s desk and he told his executive assistant to hold all of his calls. He’d take notes on what we talked about and he always asked my opinion for solutions to whatever we discussed (if applicable). Lee was 100 percent focused on our conversation and listening to me.
Do I think he was a great communicator? Absolutely—because he connected with me.
By the way that was more than 25 years ago and I’ve never met anyone else who listened like Lee did.
The next time someone speaks with you, listen to understand—not to respond.
Next week we’ll look at three more of Richard Voreis’ Best Practices! This week, practice these three and start to connect with your people. Have a great week and I hope to see many of you in Tampa at Auto Glass Week!