There’s no greater compliment than the boss spending time with you on a project. Working directly with someone who can definitely teach you new skills and techniques is hugely motivating.
Some managers tell us that they just don’t have the time to spend time individually with everybody on the team. Bearing in mind that you achieve most of your results from your team, this view is a little short-sighted.
In this article we discuss the benefits of spending some ‘quality’ time with a member of your team whilst working for your customers.
Make Joint Visits To See Clients
Visiting clients can give you the opportunity to work as a team to achieve a common goal. It provides the chance for your team member to showcase what they know and they can observe your skills in action. Planning strategy for the meeting and then demonstrating it live can teach your colleague more than any time spent talking about it at your desk.
Give Timely Feedback
Unless you observe your employee in action you can’t really judge how good they are. Aim to provide balanced feedback picking out the best in them and be selective when choosing areas for constructive criticism. Being able to review the meeting and its outcome immediately afterwards is a great time to link feedback with what just happened. Neurologically it is a far more efficient way to learn.
Ask For Feedback On Your Own Skills
Actively looking for 360o feedback on your performance demonstrates that you are brave enough to admit no one is perfect, not even the boss. It helps a colleague to put their own efforts in perspective as they understand that you still want to improve your craft.
Show The Way Forward
Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. By this he was telling us that if we want to make changes then start making those changes in ourselves first. We can’t moan about things not happening if we are not taking responsibility for making our own changes. Leading by example is a great way to show the way forward and what you are looking to achieve. It can bring a business plan to life and inspire your colleagues to greater achievements.
Plan For The Next Time
Spending this time with your team member is very powerful and should not be a token gesture or another tick in the box. Actively look for future opportunities when you can get another chance to work together to continue the professional development process.
Our challenge this week is for you to review how much time you spend with your team inside and outside work. There is a wonderful book written by Charles Barnascone called Tom and the Magician. In it he talks about being a leader at work and also at home whatever your gender and position in the family. Unless we spend time with these teams and show that we care we can’t really complain when things don’t happen as we would wish.
Director of Training at MTD
(Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)