We had beautiful weather in our part of the world during April. May hasn’t been as good, but we still had some sun and it’s definitely warming up.
Before you check to see if you’ve accidentally stumbled on the weather blog(!) can I just say that my purpose isn’t to give you small-talk or just converse about my sun-tan! No, actually, the weather got me out in the garden tending to my plants and the grass, and it reminded me of how we as managers play an important part in the development of our staff.
You see, as a gardener, I plant, nurture, tend and develop my seedlings into wonderful, colourful blooms. Without my help, they will still grow, but maybe not to their full potential. I put some liquid food onto some of my plants and have already seen excellent results, much better than expected.
I also decided this year to use better quality compost than I did last year, and have spent more time feeding and nurturing them.
How does this apply to us as managers?
Well, think of the soil as the environment in which you grow your people. What quality atmosphere do you create at work for them? Do you plant the seeds of doubt in their mind as to the quality of work they’re producing, or do you encourage their growth and achievement with praise and recognition for what they do?
How about as they are growing towards potential? How do you support that growth? The liquid food I referred to is the opportunity they have to expand and create, using initiative and resourcefulness. Whatever you feed and nurture becomes their natural way of working.
As a gardener would tend to their plants, you as a manager should be seen to be tending to the growth of your team members. By delegating responsibility, by coaching their skills, by training their development, by encouraging their achievements, you build their confidence and their willingness to succeed, along with their motivation to progress.
Think of yourself as a gardener and your team as your plants to nurture. Storms may come and go and the quality of the soil may be severely tested at times, but the hardy plants will always survive to fight another day. By creating the foundation for your team to grow, you offer opportunities for them to achieve more and better results. And you’ll receive the accolades of others as they see your team bloom to full potential!
Originally published: 7 June, 2011
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