Thursday, June 24, 2010

Building Teams - Part 2 - Approach and Results

Yesterday I was having a lengthy chat with a colleague of mine regarding some soft issues that individual was facing at work and dealing with people in general. It's the kind of chat I enjoy most and reflection of the same made me write this entry.

Let me quote the last para of a previous blog entry....(

"One of the greatest reward capacities that you have at your disposal as a departmental head is your ability to give them opportunities to perform tasks. Do not undermine this. It is a major tool you have, provided you use it right. Check for their aspirations and also try to identify personal gaps, meaning personal developmental needs of your team members. Some companies have a policy of only developing 'requisite' technical skills. This is not a smart move at all. As much as possible develop them for their full potential. It pays for the company and adds value for the team as well. Speak to them regularly about their gaps and more importantly about the progress they are making if any. Give them assignments and projects, allow them to make certain mistakes. Seek their feedback regarding important tasks and acknowledge good suggestions and reward such initiatives through public praise. People do respond to this and it creates a want to be part of a team."

I just cannot reiterate how true this has been and it's wonderful to see this approach being successful on two others as well. It's a great feeling.....

As a leader one needs to work on his or her people. That's probably the most important job at your hand. Some feel insecure in doing this thinking that their apprentices might outshine them or out perform them. Guess what you should be the happiest if that happens! You've been successful in what your suppose to do!

While tasks or projects provide new colleagues with the opportunity to learn and grow, on most occasions the growth predominantly revolve around technical areas relevant to the job. While that has become a given, in today's context the requisite soft skills have become paramount to the success of the individual. It's not just the traditional soft skills such as presentation or negotiation skills. One needs to groom them on handling people, situations and even yes corporate politics!

Importantly it is not about trying to mold the person to your way of thinking. Dialogue has to be regular and contextual. While invariably you need to share with them your take on the matter it is also important you explain the rationale behind your judgement. Further you should also highlight the other options you considered and highlight as to why you preferred what you thought in this context over the others.This allows them to make their own judgment regarding the situation without being forced to do so. Be open to their questions and create and encourage a culture of candor where they ask questions regarding 'silly' soft issues. That's the speedy way to groom them.

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comments column

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