Like the Captain of ship, you must provide everyone with the training and skills needed to achieve your short and long term goals. No one is going to risk climbing into the crows nest unless they trust the rest of the crew can efficiently do their job. Everyone must understand their role as part of the whole and have the skills to perform their tasks so that everyone on the team is confident they can make it happen. If their is any doubt, then people will not be able to focus on their tasks and will waste time and effort checking on their teammates. This is the cause of team members not thinking about how what they do effects others, but what the others are not doing that effects them. Training and trust is the key to implementing a mutual benefit philosophy.
Everyone must trust the skills of everyone else
Where to begin? There are so many skills that need to be enhanced that there is not enough time in the day to do it all. The training industry is a multi billion dollar industry because companies know that skilled employees are more valuable to a business than any mechanical equipment alone.
People skills are often overlooked. We will pay for technical training, process training, management and leadership training, but we often forget to integrate people skills into this mix. In a company that embraces the “Mutual Benefit” philosophy, people skills are a part of everyone of these other skills training.
So what are people skills that an entrepreneurial environment needs to be successful? They are skills that help the employee, customer, vendor and community to live and work together in order to benefit everyone.
The following are examples of people skills that need to be enhanced in order to achieve success mutually benefit oriented organization:
- Self Realization – It is not easy to look in the mirror and see what others see in us. We need to train employees how to pay attention to what others are saying about our actions and how our actions are affecting others. This is were observation skills come into play. It is a well know phrase from ancient teachings, that we eyes but do not see, we have ears but do not hear. An important part of really seeing what is around us and hearing what is being offered to us is the ability to filter out the noise, understand what is valuable and then internalize that information and transform it into insight and self-realization. It easier said than done. Our ego, insecurity, confidence, upbringing, pride, humility, prejudices, openness, and a host of other influences act as filters to the real information that we need. The training must include how to filter out the noise and let the real knowledge in.
- Understand the total picture – In order to do this we need to know the processes and their outcomes that our actions initiate, facilitate and bring to closure. Everyone from the cleaning people at your company to the CEO of your suppliers must be made aware of how their actions effect the whole. Of course you are not going to say that your clients CEO should come in for training, however it should be explained to your sales and customer service people that they need to ensure that your clients understand how their actions effect your people, both positive and negative. When you develop an environment of looking at the total picture at your organization, you will be surprised how that will influence your customers and vendors alike. This can even begin with one division or department and it will spread to your whole company in time. It is a contagious and self governing attitude that will produce amazing results over time.
- Long term benefits – In order to achieve enhanced people skills an organization must take a long term approach. This will only produce value if your management team has embraced the idea that by enhancing their teams people skills they will benefit, the company will benefit and the employee will benefit in the long term. It is important to be able to measure the effect of the enhanced people skills or you will find that interest and acceptance will fade quickly. The way you should measure the benefits is by documenting process improvements, as well as attitudes towards other departments, customers, and vendors. You will find that over time, instead of complaining about someone or something, the first thing a person does is look for what they can do better to help solve the problem.
It is important to remember that the “Mutual Benefit” philosophy is an over lay to your current skills training program. The key to this philosophy are the three key attributes listed above.