Tell your team what you are looking for
Eileen, the training, safety and recruiting manager for a dental equipment manufacturer, told Session 5A of the Leadership Development LAB (LDL):
“I was in the process of identifying employees who would be excellent corporate trainer candidates for our world class manufacturing program. I had found all but one candidate. I was running out of time and didn’t know where else to look. When I told my assistant about my dilemma she suggested one of our warehouse employees. She went on to describe his excellent speaking abilities. She had noticed his skill during an on-site Interpersonal Communication college course she had taken with him. She thought that he would be an ideal trainer for our program.
“Based on my assistant’s recommendation, I made a couple of other inquiries, interviewed him and asked him if he would be interested in the opportunity for growth and added contribution. He was really excited about the opportunity and during our week long certification training process turned out to be a talented, energetic, committed and enthusiastic trainer.
“Our new manufacturing program trainer has become one of our best ‘crowd pleasers.’ As always, I continue to ask for my assistant’s input and she feels free to give it.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is if I seek the input of others, I will find answers to problems in places I would not have thought to look, and the results are far greater than I could have ever achieved on my own.
“The action I call you to take is to seek input from as many associates as possible -- ask for help. You will get some great ideas, and you will find new ways to approach your problems.
Make sure everyone in your area, department and company knows about your want list. Create an atmosphere that
welcomes input, suggestions, ideas and recommendations.
“The benefit you will gain is you will find solutions to solve your problems, and you will create motivated employees who continue to look for better ways to improve processes, customer service and quality. Don’t be surprised when you find a ‘genius in the rough.’”
Here is the formula for better solutions to problems and the creation of inspired, motivated employees. It isn’t that complicated. So why not ask. -- Step 1. Yes, it is often just that simple, but we must ask. We have to ASK to GET. -- Step 2. Really listen. Do not say “That won’t work” or “What makes you think so” or “We have tried that.” Be open enough to look for the possibilities in the ideas you are given. -- Step 3. Say “Thank You” and mean it, even if you are not sure of how you can use the ideas. Express your gratitude for an associate’s willingness to extend themselves by taking the risk of offering their ideas. This is one of your key responsibilities as an empowering leader. Ask, listen and acknowledge even if there is no apparent application for the idea you hear today.
The Southwest Washington Contractor’s Association is sponsoring the first ever open enrollment Leadership Development Lab (LDL) in Clark County! For more info, call us at (503) 625-1867.
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