Are you listening to me?
How does it make you feel when you're talking to someone and realise they are not listening? Unimportant, invisible, undervalued?
At work if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, maybe you've lost direction or motivation, you have a situation that you don't know how to handle, you're not sure where the business sees you going and you want to talk to someone about it, who do you go to, your manager. Right?
You're nervous, will I seem weak, will they think I can't cope, will admitting this affect my career? You go for it and ask for some time. Then the time comes, you're just about to open up your fears and their phone rings - whether they acknowledge it or not it's still a distraction and throws you off your purpose. You start again and someone knocks at the door, or you can see them being distracted by their emails. Now how do you feel? Angry, frustrated, worse than you felt before?
I haven't got time to listen, I've got a deadline to meet!
In our busy environment we can all be guilty of forgetting that there are people in our business, people that have personal lives, people that should be listened to and cared about. After all they are investing a lot of their time making your company look great, shouldn't you ensure they feel great and valued doing it.
How often do you spend quality time with your team to really know whether they're enjoying their job? Are they coping with their workload, are they hitting their objectives, do they even have objectives, do you know them well enough to notice when they are not their 'normal' self? If not, why not? Even if you have a large team, one of your key responsibilities is their welfare and this means knowing them. What are their strengths, what development do they need, what motivates them? What's their career plan, does it match the businesses? Do you have a plan mapped out for every one of them but don't know how you're going to get them there?
Listen to the top line whilst taking care of your bottom line
What's the structure of your business, do you have a great HR team that does the listening for you, or a mentor scheme, maybe you invest in training or coaching? No? Well you can't do all the listening yourself, you'd never hit your deadlines.
Imagine the scenario, you're either pitching for, or better still, have won a new piece of business and you have already identified the perfect team to step into the roles, you know they want a fresh challenge, they can take on additional work, you know they are ready to be promoted and you know they will help that initial piece of business grow into more. The worse scenario is that you shoehorn people into the roles regardless of their skill set and wonder why your staff turnover is so high.
How do you know the team are right? Because you have valuable 121's with each of them, spending quality time acknowledging their achievements and listening to their aspirations. These meetings are motivating and high energy, gone are the moans and frustrations, which means they are more efficient, less draining - for all - and more importantly not time consuming.
So who's doing the rest of the listening?
This is about adding another layer to your team but without the full time overheads. A personal development coach offers a support for your team, and you. Allowing you to focus on the business goals whilst being aware of individuals goals. A coach is objective, someone who knows how to listen, that understands business dynamics and the crucial soft skills that are required to ensure your team are future fit for your company and themselves.
Creating bespoke coaching plans that suit individuals skill sets and working with them using clear goals and measures. Everyone has different experience and skills, one size does not fit all.
This support ensures your time is invested wisely with your team and means you can be the leader your team need you to be, and your team blossom into our future leaders.
Thanks for listening!