Al’s column: Push your RSAs, help them grow

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November 26/December 3, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 12

By Lisbeth Calandrino


Recently I recorded a webinar on “How to grow your business while working less.” (Disclosure: The event was sponsored by FCNews and moderated by Jim Augustus Armstrong of Flooring Success Systems and an FCNews columnist. If you missed it, I can send you the link.)

One of the interesting questions had to do with managers and what Armstrong called their “limiting” beliefs. To clarify, a limiting belief is an acceptance we have about ourselves that gets in the way of our growth. The belief is something we learned about ourselves through our family or through life experience. These beliefs come up when your opinion is challenged or a task is unfamiliar and seems difficult. Rather than attack the task, we retreat because the “I’m not smart enough” monster rears its ugly head.

The problem with a self-limiting belief is it gets in the way of decision making. We all have imposed beliefs, including the owner, but if people are to progress, these beliefs have to be challenged. Sometimes limiting beliefs aren’t that obvious; we have a way of hiding things like that from ourselves and others.

By overcoming our limiting beliefs, we put ourselves in a position to not only work smarter, but also fewer hours. Business owners need to rely on managers to help run their business. But if your managers are held hostage to these limiting beliefs, how can you depend on them? If it were my business, I would hire a coach or find courses for my managers and help them work on building confidence and overcoming some of those pre-existing notions that can hurt business. Once they deal with their own issues and get over their roadblocks, they will be more capable of managing.

Managers are like cars; we depend on them to take us everywhere, but like cars they only work if we take care of them. They need plenty of fuel and an occasional tune-up to keep them in top shape. Sure, giving those trips, extra money and time off will make them feel better, but if you want them to be more valuable you will have to improve their skills.

I have a couple of suggestions that might help. First, give them time off that is dedicated to learning. This means you plan a training program with them that will improve their abilities. You can program in an hour or so a week that is to be used for taking online courses. I would put together a learning program for them and have them sign up for courses that will help them get better at their jobs. Once they complete their courses, I would have them review what they’ve learned with the rest of the team members.

You can also send them out for training or hire a coach. Great athletes all have coaches. Why not treat your managers as if they were great athletes? The more competent your managers, the better they will be for your company. What you want are people who can keep up with you and also have good ideas for your business and the rest of the team.

The coach doesn’t have to be permanent, but a few months might help managers confront their own limited beliefs. Just having a coach ask them why they have certain limiting beliefs will give them a better perspective and improve their confidence. Owners invest thousands of dollars in racking systems that don’t always pay off. Why not invest in something you know is capable of a healthy return?

Food for thought.

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