Breaking News…When you’re eyes are closed, you can’t see anything! .
As a small business owner, when it comes to your team, have you ever experienced a blessing in disguise? This is when you don’t see the value in something at first, then, “Voila”, it hits you. Right now you have a team member that has a skill or passion that you’ve never known and could actually be a vital piece in helping you solve a business challenge, increase your productivity, or even fill a void elsewhere in your business.
Dust It Off
Ever watched or heard of the “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS? I can’t say I’ve ever watched a full episode but I do find some of these people and pieces fascinating. I enjoy the story and wait in anticipation of hearing what the odd shaped “thing” is and if it really has value.
The stories these people tell usually go like this:
Person: “Well, I found this in my Grandmother’s attic and thought it would make for a really cool dog dish. Fluffy seems to enjoy it.”
Expert: “What we have here is an 18th Century hand blown emerald glass bowl that was made exclusively for English Royalty; it held the most precious jewels of the Queen. This number on the bottom tells us that only four of them exist. According to the workmanship and the exclusive nature this is worth $13,000.”
WHAT? So, for the last years all it’s ever been to you is a dog dish! How do you train yourself to see things differently?
Eyes Wide SHUT
As leaders, you don’t see everything. That is, as long as you’re not looking for it. And, as long as you’re not looking for it, you’re just oblivious to what is under your nose. The reason you have a team is to utilize them to their full ability and capacity to work towards the common goal with rapid results, right?
Eyes Wide OPEN
You want to become intentional and proactive to really know your team members. Your most valuable resources are right in front of you. Use them! As Dale Carnegie says, “Engaging leaders are crystal clear on….nurturing success and inspiring mastery.”
If you cultivate your team correctly, you should see a transformation in each individual; either to do their current position better or excel at a skill that moves them into a different position, department, or even job.
How to “Pan for Gold” In Your Current Team
• Have your team fill out a “Get to Know Me” questionnaire of what they enjoy about their work, their least favorite task, name a team member they admire, character traits they look for in others, hobbies outside of work, extracurricular activities, how they spend their weekends, their dream job. Make this information available for others to read.
• Believe in the potential of each team member and commit to uncovering it. You may have to help them dust it off a bit, but they’re teachable and that’s what counts.
• You have to make yourself available…it’s called transparency. It’s not about being in the same office building and passing by each other once in awhile. It needs to be an intentional, two-way conversation. Use the information in your questionnaire to start a conversation.
• Use your team members as a resource to help uncover the hidden skills of others. After all, they are the ones that are closely working with them. They can help give you insight to your blind spot.
When you decide to take your team at face value, you are not tapping into the full power you have at hand. Because, if the only thing you see your team as is a “dog dish”, then you are missing out in finding a genuine diamond in the rough.