If you have read at least three of my blogs (because it takes that number to see a pattern…) you may have noticed that I finished each one with an opportunity statement.
Why? Because making a habit of spotting opportunities works. It has worked for me in business, and I’ve seen it work well for clients.
Not only does it work but, in this fast changing world, not identifying opportunities for growth, change and reinvention can be the downfall of both business and career.
… in team meetings
Meetings are the ideal place to cultivate the habit of spotting opportunities.
When helping managers improve their communications, I often emphasise the importance of using meetings as a crucial communications channel to lift employee engagement during change.
For instance, when you catch people out doing the right thing (i.e. demonstrating actions or behaviour that supports the change initiative) and reward them for it publicly at team meetings, this is not only a great opportunity to motivate staff but also a chance to demonstrate to others the behaviour you’re looking for to support the new order of things (e.g. the newly agreed company values, culture change initiative, company vision etc).
Merely announcing a new set of company values and sticking posters on the wall is not going to bring them to life and make them real for people. The same goes for the company’s strategic direction. Managers need to help bring these things to life by observing and using every opportunity to make the connection between the work of their team and the company goals.
… in one to one meetings
Likewise in one to one meetings. When discussing work priorities, look for opportunities to have conversations around which ones are most aligned to the strategic direction of the company. Or, if your staff member is seeking advice on how to handle a particular situation, there’s an opportunity to coach them to use the organisation’s principles or values to help decide on a course of action.
As George Bernard Shaw once said “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. By cultivating the habit of spotting opportunities, you are more likely to engage and reinforce what it is that you or your company is aiming to achieve.
Lucy Sanderson-Gammon, MBA, is director of Luminous Consulting Limited. She provides management and communications consultancy and short term contracting services, as well as business and career coaching and management communications training.
This article is also available on LinkedIn.