For the journey

Know where you’re go­ing with your busi­ness? Coach Stephen Un­win has ways of point­ing you in the right di­rec­tion

EADT Suffolk - - Business -

A com­mon chal­lenge that I see re­peat­edly, and one that can be a real ob­sta­cle to progress, is the busi­ness owner’s abil­ity to build a great team of peo­ple and to man­age them ef­fec­tively to grow the com­pany.

This re­quires the de­vel­op­ment of lead­er­ship and man­age­ment skills, the abil­ity to del­e­gate ef­fec­tively, and an ef­fec­tive re­cruit­ment process. These are not ar­eas that can be learnt overnight. They re­quire on­go­ing at­ten­tion and im­prove­ment, so that over months, and even years, peo­ple pro­gres­sively de­velop their skills and can build the great team they need.

A key tool I use as part of this process is the DISC pro­file. This is a long es­tab­lished means of pro­vid­ing clients with a much greater in­sight into their nat­u­ral style of be­hav­iour and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, as well as that of their team mem­bers. Leaders, man­agers and team mem­bers in a com­pany are dif­fer­ent peo­ple who be­have in dif­fer­ent ways, and un­der­stand­ing this and their rel­a­tive at­tributes, and per­haps chal­lenges, en­ables the team to re­ally move for­ward and work more ef­fec­tively to­gether.

It is crit­i­cal for the busi­ness or team leader to es­tab­lish a com­mon goal that the team is seek­ing to achieve. As I of­ten say, how can you and your team set off on a journey if you haven’t agreed where you are go­ing? It is usu­ally the leader who will set the long term goal for the busi­ness, but if you can then en­gage the team in dis­cussing and agree­ing how you are go­ing to get there you im­me­di­ately cre­ate par­tic­i­pa­tion and en­thu­si­asm.

I would also get the team to think about their ‘Rules of the Game’. How are they go­ing to work to­gether? How will they be­have to one an­other, com­mu­ni­cate and go about their day to day roles? This would in­vari­ably in­clude the de­vel­op­ment of a ‘de­fault di­ary’, with time pro­tected for key meet­ings to­gether, and per­haps ‘cul­ture state­ment’, cre­ated and con­tin­u­ally re­viewed by the whole team.

Over­all if there is a lack of these lead­er­ship and team skills and en­gage­ment I in­vari­ably see frus­tra­tion, time be­ing wasted and real fi­nan­cial cost to the busi­ness.

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