Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Talent Grooming

A successful leader is the one who believes in his people and makes every attempt to groom them so that they can reach their potential. Here are some of the guru mantras that have helped me groom my team:

Believe in your folks before they succeed: If you want your team to reach their potential, you need to believe in them before they become successful and sometimes before you can persuade them to believe in themselves. Though it is much tougher to believe in people before they have proved themselves but as a leader, you need to carry this trait.

Emphasize their strengths: The best way to show people your faith in them and motivate them is to focus your attention on their strengths. By emphasizing people's strength's, you are helping them believe they possess what they need to succeed. Praise them for what they do well both privately and publicly. Tell them how much you appreciate their positive qualities and their skills. Any time you get an opportunity to compliment them in front of their family and close friends, do it.

List their past success: There may be times when you need to encourage an individual beyond emphasizing his strengths to motivate him/her. An easy way to do this is to make the individual feel important. Help people remember their past success and they will have confidence in their future actions. Not everyone has natural ability to recognize their past successes and draw confidence from them. If you can show them that they have done well in the past and help them see that their past victories have paved the way for future success, they will be better able to move into action.

Instill confidence when they fail: Some people are resilient and willing to keep trying in order to succeed, even when they don't see immediate progress. But others aren't that determined. Some will collapse at the first sign of trouble. To give them a push and to inspire them going you need to keep showing your confidence in them, even when they are making mistakes.

One of the ways to do that is to tell about your past troubles. Sometimes people think that if you are currently successful, you have always been that way. They don't realize that you had your own failures and flops. Show them that success is a journey, a process and not a destination. When they realize that you have failed and yet you are successful, they will realize that it is okay to fail. And their confidence will remain intact.

Experience some wins together: It is not enough just knowing failure is a part of moving forward in life. To really become motivated to succeed, people need to believe they can win. Coming alongside others to help them experience some wins with you give them reasons to believe they will succeed. And in the process, they sense victory. That is when incredible things begin to happen to them in their lives.

To help people believe they can achieve victory, put them in a position to experience small success. Encourage them to perform tasks or take on responsibilities you know they can handle and do well. And give them the assistance they need to succeed. In time as their confidence grows, they will take on more difficult challenges, but they will be able to face them with confidence and competence because of the positive track record they are developing.

Visualize their success: Each time you cast a vision for others and paint a picture of their future success, you build them up, motivate them and give them reasons to keep going.

If you can practice the above mantras with your direct reports you will not only be able to successfully groom talent but you will be their hero. We all live under the same sky but we don't have the same horizon. Make people see beyond today and dream big. When you put your faith in people, you help them expand their horizon and motivate them to move to a whole new level of living.
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