Here are some more gold nuggets on Team Building from Michael Masterson from his book “Ready, Fire, Aim.” Whether you are building your own network marketing team, managing an engineering group, or inside a military unit, it would benefit you to lead with a spirit of teaching and being taught. If you are a team member, do not underestimate the value of your contribution. Especially in a combat situation, there’s no room for an overblown ego when it comes to life or death lessons to be learned.
If in your corporation, you are not encouraging your management to step outside the security of their engineering skill set and start building some team building skills, you risk the insidious problems characteristic of a fragmented company. Every team member’s insight from their position is important to the integrity of your organization.
Without further delay…
TEACHING YOUR TEAM
During your businesses first stage of development, your employees should know that the company’s main priority is selling. Even if they aren’t engaged directly in the marketing or sales process, they should be encouraged to take an active interest in it. Remember that the core team you have in the beginning may very well be the managers and then the directors and eventually the vice presidents who will run your business for you when you step into semiretirement. The more you can teach them now about what makes the business work – really works – the easier it will be for the business to grow up big and strong later.
Here are some tips on how to do it:
-Teach instinctively if you have the instinct. Teach formally if you don’t. Every time you or anyone else does something smart or discovers a useful secret, make a lesson out of it. Call everyone together, give praise where it is due, and teach the lesson.
-Don’t make these lessons one-sided. You are the leader, but you are not the only one who has insights. Ask everyone, “What can we learn from this?” and listen to their answers before you offer your own. Document the shared information afterward with a written memo that should become part of an informal bible that you can give to new employees as they come into the company.
-Don’t limit your lessons to successes. When someone makes a mistake, celebrate it as a learning experience. Don’t criticize the person. Thank him for giving everyone the chance to learn, and help the group analyze the mistake in a positive, productive way.
-Resist the temptation to create a culture of cliques and politics in your company by sharing all your knowledge with everybody. Don’t hoard your secrets. They will become stronger and more useful to you after you share them.
To teach your core employees what you know, you need to trust them, of course. You need to have faith that they are in the business for the same reason you are: to create a better and more rewarding future. Having faith in them is easy if you follow your instincts in hiring, listening to the voice inside you that recognizes good character.
Maintaining a good relationship with people of good ccharacter is easy too. All you have to do is treat them as you would like to be treated. If you have genuinely good intentions toward them, they will almost always be loyal to you.*
* The goodwill that you develop will accrue over time. This is a subject that is so important it merits its own chapter. I don’t have time for that in this book, but trust me on this.
How will you improve your teaching skills?
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