Turbo Leadership Systems

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May 29, 2012 Issue 382 To our clients and friends

Encouraging Others to Speak Up

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership


Eileen, Vice President of Human Resources 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 candidates to become corporate trainers 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. I told my assistant about my dilemma when 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 a good 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 is to seek input from others - 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 openly.

“The benefit you will gain is you will find

solutions to solve your problems, and you will motivate your employees as they give you their input. Don’t be surprised when you find a ‘genius in the rough.’”

Here is the formula. It isn’t that complicated. So why not ask. -- Step 1. Yes, it is often just that simple, but we must sincerely ask for help, insights, ideas and suggestions. 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. To better understand the ideas that may not seem to make sense, ask in a neutral tone, “How would that work?” -- 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 their willingness to extend themselves by taking the risk of offering their suggestions and 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 today.

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