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How to Unlock Employee Potential

Pinnacle All, Management Best Practices 1 Comment

It’s rare to meet a person fully living up to his or her professional potential. Many people come close, but there is almost always room for improvement. It’s undeniable that certain people push for perfection in this area while others don’t seem to care about improving. It can be frustrating to watch a talented individual not try to develop his or her professional potential. But, those in management positions have the responsibility to unlock employee potential in creative ways.

Unlock Employee Potential by Providing Healthy Challenges

Do you stretch your employees just a little beyond their limits on a regular basis? If not, that may be the reason they aren’t growing. None of us likes to be stretched, professionally or in any other way. Since we can’t develop apart from getting outside of our comfort zones, sometimes we need a push. That’s where managers come in.

William J. Rothwell, a contributor to the American Management Association, wrote, “One way to test and develop the potential of individuals is to offer them a challenge that goes beyond the skills you have seen them previously demonstrate. As a simple example, pick one activity from your own job description and delegate it for a specific time span to those you want to assess and develop. Sit the people down and explain that you are going to challenge them. Detail what they are to do, how they should do it, and how you will check on them, and show them good and bad examples (if possible).”

Do you think this exercise would help to develop your personnel?

Boost Employee Confidence by Offering Training in Group Dynamics

In addition to stretching employees beyond their comfort zones, training them will also unlock a measure of their potential. Any type of training that is pertinent to an employee’s job will help that individual meet his or her potential. This is especially true of training in group/team dynamics.

The most effective leaders the world has ever known were excellent at coordinating team projects and working with people. Some did this intuitively whereas others taught themselves by studying the ways in which humans relate to one another. What are Best Practices for Preparing High-Potentials for Future Leadership Roles?, published by Cornell University, stated, “Communication skills play a pivotal role in managing horizontal integration in complex organizations. The need to clearly and effectively communicate both up and down in the organization is paramount. Possessing an understanding of team dynamics should also be a high priority.”

A practical way to teach team dynamics is to be more open with employees you are mentoring about office politics and the relational styles of coworkers. Don’t shy away from conversations like these. If approached sensitively, they can be learning tools for high-potential workers.

Being in a management position has its pros and cons. One amazing thing about managing people is that you get to help them develop professionally. This can increase their earnings and positively affect other aspects of their lives. Would you agree that this is a privilege unique to a supervisor?

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  1. Thought provoking post you have here.

    Yes, I do think the exercise of creating challenges to extract an individual’s utmost potential can be very effective. I was recently listening to a podcast around a similar thought. Rich Roll was commenting on the idea of reaching peak performance, that stress plus rest equals growth. There is an interesting correlation between the strength building of muscles and how that same idea can be applied to reaching full potential in the professional workforce.

    Diving further into the idea of stress, rest, and growth. Do you think there is any way to remove the stress step from this equation to reach full potential? You mentioned how hard it is to watch someone with potential not strive for it. One thing I love about the company I just recently started working for is the promotion of self motivated learning.

    Would you agree that it is important to allow personnel to not only find confidence in their rolls at hand but additionally make it easy to acquire knowledge beyond their purview to reach a higher potential? Like you stated “there is always room for improvement” How else can a company be “built with great people who make a difference” without having all the tools they need to do so?

    How would you go about implementing the idea of self motivated challenges in a work environment in contrast to challenges set by a superior?

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