Thursday, 6 August 2015

Act now!

How often have you said – “if only I’d known how you felt, I would never have acted in that way”? If we’re honest we can probably all answer, without exception – “only too often”.

I was reminded forcefully of this truism over recent weeks by some major personal events going on with family members in my life. As chapters closed and new ones began on several different fronts and in different parts of the world they were all drawn together by a common thread. As people prepared for the new circumstances, they instinctively reminded themselves of what good had gone on before and what good was waiting round the corner in the new phase.

In business we don’t all have the advantage of major new events to help us crystallise our thoughts and remind ourselves of the inherent value we are leaving behind in order to progress. So maybe it’s a good idea to dwell on this phenomenon for a few minutes and see if there are useful parallels to be drawn. You can probably guess my view already but relate this to your circumstances and I hope you would come up with the same conclusions.

Telling someone what you think of them as you are required to do when a major personal event happens almost inevitably forces you to be positive. You look back on shared experiences, very often including a few negative ones, and you stress the positive in both what’s happened and what’s yet to come. This is beneficial for both the giver and the taker as it reinforces good points and looks forward with optimism.

This is perfectly possible to do in a business environment but what’s often missing is the pretext to do it in the first place. So why not invent a pretext? Why not just do it “spontaneously”?  Avoid the embarrassment that often comes with personal reviews when two people shuffle through a form-filling exercise together in a kind of coma. Just do it because you think it might help all round.

It’s a well-known fact that a vast majority of the workforce in the UK is suffering daily because they don’t feel engaged with the process they’re part of. So whatever your position in the organisation, why not have a go at forcefully suggesting a new forum for communication that will help everyone. You will doubtless have to invest time and/or money to achieve this but the benefits will be very real and there for all to enjoy.

If we each of us set more time aside for genuine communication we will massively increase our chances of success in whatever venture we’re engaged in. Act now and get a process going that only needs a little nudge every now and then in order to keep the proverbial flywheel spinning.
If anyone in business catches themselves or others saying “I didn’t realise how much I was valued round here” then there’s work to do and we may as well start the job right now!

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