As a team leader, it’s essential that you not only know how to make everyone work together to turn in projects correctly and on time, but also that you are able to identify the complete potential of each professional. When you know what you’re working with, you can maximize, develop, and nurture it.
Each individual on your team is an ally that can contribute more than you imagine, and not just because of his or her background, skills, and talent. To discover the potential of each member, you have to foster a work dynamic in which everyone can blossom and stand out in the best possible way. As you already know, a team is more than the sum of its parts. But those parts are undeniably the foundation of everything else.
Let’s take a closer look at a methodological tool that will help you obtain more and better results, and we’ll give you five helpful tips for putting it in practice.
Learning agility: A revolutionary concept for thinking about roles.
Learning agility is a relatively recent concept that considers the ability to learn and adapt. This combined agility becomes even more important than your team’s degrees, experience, or area of expertise.
Applied to dynamic work teams, the methodology and foundations of learning agility serve to identify high-potential talent; that is, team members with a high capacity for learning and adapting. This methodology also helps them to optimize their results, with very favorable outcomes both for the company and the employee.
The components of learning agility are:
- Self-awareness: This means being conscious of our own strengths and weaknesses, which is the first step in discovering which tools can be used to our advantage and which ones we should actively be seeking.
- Mental agility: Mental agility is the capacity to adequately catch on to, interpret, and use available information in the current context. Just like a muscle, mental agility must be cultivated on a lifelong basis to reach its full potential, although there are people who are naturally more mentally agile than others.
- People: Learning to appropriately interact with our social environment is also one of the components of learning agility, since it allows us to identify what place or role we should obtain on the team in order to achieve the individual results we want.
Given that the greatest achievements are generally reached as a team, this means not only discovering the key people with whom we should compete, but also those with whom we should collaborate to reach group objectives.
- Change: The ability to anticipate change, adapt to it, and even setitin motion is a distinctive mark of successful people and work teams.A professional with high potential is one who assumes a “spearheading” role.His or her enthusiasm and energy is contagious and is always moving toward more ambitious goals and more efficient and productive methods of work.
- Results: This last component has to do with the capacity to visualize the desired results and direct all efforts and concentration toward reaching them. Many people with great mental agility do not have enough motivation to stay on the right track until the goals are met; therefore, orientation toward achievement or goal-based work is an essential part of learning agility.
How can you use these concepts from day to day to identify the potential of each member of your team? If you manage a team of professionals, remember to always put in practice these five tips that will foster an ideal work environment for discovering who is most motivated to adapt and learn.
1.- Know their background.
When you integrate a worker into your team, normally it’s because they have already passed a filterwhere they demonstrated that they have the specific abilities and skills necessary to do the particular job you recruited them for.
But, how much do you know about the rest of their background?
Maybe it’s a copywriter who also has in-depth knowledge of consumer psychology or neurolinguistics, or a web designer who, still unbeknownst to you, is amazing at organizing team dynamics. So, once you’ve established a work relationship, it’s always a great idea to get to know more about the rest of your team members’ skills. You never know when you might need them or what good ideas they may contribute to complement your projects.
2.- Share your goals and vision.
In order for your team members to know where you want to go and to be able to help you get there, you need to make a habit of sharing with them your mission, vision, and the philosophy of your company or business.
If you do this, they won’t be limited to just turning in the work assigned, but instead they’ll identify with your organizational culture and your goals at a more human level, and they’ll always give more creativity and commitment that will let you see their potential beyond the work at hand.
3.- Identify their motivations and passions.
Apart from earning income, find out what motivates your team members to work in the area of expertise they chose:
- Is this their real passion in life, or is this job just a side job for them?
- What personal projects are they investing their time in and why?
- How can you convert their collaboration with you into something that will make them enthusiastic on a personal level?
- What training or courses would they love to take to improve the quality of work they do for you?
When you understand what the driving motivation is for each team member, it becomes much simpler to get them on board with the long-term vision for your project, because you can connect their motivations with yours and create a mutually beneficial relationship that goes beyond just the financial side.
4.- Motivate them to be purposeful.
Look for professionals who are not just content to do what they’re asked. Foster a work environment in which everyone feels free to propose ideas, improvements, and new projects that go hand in hand with your company goals and objectives.
You may not always have the resources to put in practice all the ideas that may occur to them, but the ideas themselves have great value, even if you wait a while to be able to implement them.They give you an excellent compass so you can know which way to direct your development strategies.
Basically, it’s as if you were to sign up for ongoing growth consulting, but at no cost and with the benefit of your team feeling valued and heard.
5.- Identifytheir “soft skills.”
Besides the specific skills and abilities related to our field of work, we all have what are called “soft skills,” which are human qualities with value apart from the type of work we do, but which are critical in certain contexts.
Some examples are leadership, the ability to work as a team, using language to express exactly what we want, avoiding and resolving conflicts, doing long-term planning, or managing time well.
When you know the individual soft skills of your workers, it makes it easier to give each one the right role within your work team. As more time and interactions go on, you’ll discover a lot about their soft skills, but psychometrics and team-building activities will help you to more quickly and accurately pinpoint them.
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