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How to Untap the Potential of your People

Learning & Development

Helena Day from Vista Training, shares a blog about how to leverage the potential of your people…

We all know them don’t we…. the shy, retiring team member  who has knowledge and experience that would be so beneficial to the team but just quietly keeps it to themselves, so frustrating! The outgoing colleague who has a wealth of experience to share but always seems to ‘rub people up the wrong way’, so irritating! The long serving administrator who clearly has so much more to give but however much we try to encourage their development, they just don’t see it, if only they saw the potential we do!  As managers & HR professionals, can we really enlighten such people to change? Yes we can!

Broadly, it’s often a case of self-awareness and self-belief. Helping individuals to see the personal qualities they bring to the team or project can begin a journey of developing the skills of effective communication and self-confidence.

Individuals who understand the value of truly assertive behaviour and have developed strategies to structure their conversations will, with support, be able to converse skilfully and with confidence.  Furthermore, helping individuals to raise their awareness of the impact they have on others will provide opportunities for a change in behaviour.

As Gandhi once said:

“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive as your words become your behaviours. Keep your behaviour positive as your behaviours become your habits. Keep your habits positive as your habits become your values. Keep your values positive as your values become your destiny”.

So how can you leverage the potential of your people?

  • Encourage individuals to seek specific feedback on their behaviour
  • Hold regular and brief 1:1 sessions with individuals to review not only performance, but explore how well the individual feels they are interacting with the others
  • As a manager, aim to give specific feedback to individuals at least once a week
  • Encourage self-development – personal development through self-help books or online research is a good place to start
  • Self-perception is important for personal growth. Ask individuals how they perceive they are viewed by others; “how would people you know describe your personal qualities?”
  • Most importantly, encourage individuals to act upon the feedback and/or increased self-awareness they glean

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