Last weekend I spent a fantastic time with my son on a Father/Son trip organised through his school. Much of the trip was good old fashioned boy fun, the dad’s told a few stories of what life was like when we were 15 years old – discipline, sports, no internet, and the odd story of fireworks and blowing up letterboxes. There were also some exercises that gave me pause for thought; both as a father and as a business coach.
Some of the questions our sons were asked were, “What are the 3 most important things to you right now?” and “What are your priorities over the next year?”
How often do we ask these questions of our loved ones? Probably not often enough (there, I have set you a goal). We know everyone wants to make more money and work less – that’s the universal desire I come across in almost all business owners, but what are your personal priorities? What is the outcome you want to achieve?
Let’s say, “I want to free up more time to spend with my family” is your goal.
Why? What specifically do you want to do with your family? What do you want the outcome to be?
Are these goals measurable? i.e. “I will go for a camping weekend with my son before December.” Have you asked your family if their goals line up with yours? Is quality time defined the same way for them as it is for you? Perhaps camping is your idea of quality time but your son detests the outdoors and building a go-kart is his idea of quality time. Have you asked?
We can use these examples in our businesses as a way to motivate ourselves and our team. Do you have your business goals written down? Have you shared these with your team? Have you asked your staff what their goals are? Are their goals and your goals aligned? Both in your business and in their personal lives? What can you do to support these goals and support them in coming to fruition?
There is so much power in not just listening to people, but really hearing them and acting on what you have heard. Just like your son would be thrilled to find you have purchased all the components for making a go-kart, so would a team member be thrilled you would care enough to ask them what is important and then do whatever you can to make it happen. Delve deeper. Ask some quality questions and find out what really makes them tick and what inspires them.
Taking employees for granted is far and away the best way to ensure they resent you, and as a result do the bare minimum possible for you and your business.
We can’t always offer an increase in salary, or a promotion of position, but we can offer many priceless benefits that motivate employees to work tirelessly to support you towards your goals.
When an employee feels heard and supported, their loyalty to you can be limitless.