In a presentation to my management group last week about leadership, I also spoke about what I believe to be the 5 most important distinctions between simply telling your teammates about the best way to do their jobs, and actually teaching them:
- Repetition : This is stems from what I call “Terry’s Rule” – if you want someone to remember something, you need to say it to them at least 15 times. That may seem like a lot, but in practice it has really proven true for me.
- Consistency: Here’s an excellent corollary of this (especially as it applies to the service business): If quality and service are the highest priorities, don’t confuse teammates by sending mixed messages about expediency.
- Plain English: I always encourage my staff to say more with less, and remind them we are not paid by the word.
- Common Sense: I wrote about this just recently – there’s much benefit to being our own speech editors; I call it “stepping back before moving forward”.
- “Hands On” is Better: Probably the most important secret of all. The best quote I’ve ever seen about this came from a 100 year-old piano study book I recently discovered: “An ounce of demonstration is worth a pound of explanation”.
One of the most important (and enjoyable) roles we play as leaders is to teach; I hope these “secrets” can help you as much as they have assisted me in pushing your team to greater and greater heights.