Last week, we covered the vital role our ability to retain our energy this year and not let it leak will play in our overall success. As 2020 gets rolling and we remember everything that’s on our plate and all we want to achieve this year, gathering the correct energy, guarding it with a voracity that reflects its value, and directing that precious energy towards things that grow and benefit us will determine our outcomes. If you missed that article, you can read Energy Leakage in 2020 – Attitude Determines Altitude here.
Today, let’s talk about how our perspective affects our processes.
There are few things we do that don’t involve at least one other person. Depending on the size of your “operation”, you may need to deal with several other people in any given process that you undertake. Whether these are family members involved in your home processes, or whether your processes at work involve various people from various other departments, getting things done with others can always be a bit tricky.
We’d like our processes to flow smoothly. We’d like everyone to understand the importance of what we’re trying to achieve. And yet the human factor can snag up and slow down our processes considerably – leading to energy leakage for everyone.
We can all do with reminding that we come at life in general from our own, personal perspective. Our perspective affects how we see the world, how we judge other people, how we choose to go about getting things done – it affect everything we undertake. Our perspective is made up of our skills, strengths, weaknesses, life experiences, beliefs, values, upbringing, culture etc and it’s unique and personal to us… as is everyone else’s to them.
When we want things to flow smoothly, we have to invest our energy first into getting everyone who’s part of our process on the same page. This initial investment means that things will flow smoother moving forward. Here’s an example from my industry:
If an aircraft “goes technical” and the pilot “snags” the problem, that snag will then be handed over to the engineer who will assess it and decide what needs to be done to rectify the problem. If a spare part is needed, that will be ordered and that order will flow down the line to Stores who may or may not have the part in stock. If it’s not in stock, the process of ordering the part will continue, and eventually, that order will arrive on the desk of the Finance Department for authorisation and payment.
At every stage of that process is a person who is assessing the issue at hand with their own perspective, set of priorities and values attached to their part in it all. The pilot and engineer may be particularly customer-facing. Their client may actually be standing there at the hangar where the aircraft is grounded. If that’s not pressure enough, pilots and engineers have a heightened awareness that how they do their jobs directly impacts the safety of the people that their aircraft carry. This fuels a sense of urgency for the process they’ve set in motion.
The person in Finance who will eventually receive the purchase request is fairly far removed from that particular outlook and won’t feel the same type of urgency that the pilots and engineers feel. They, instead, will see their part in the process as a part number and financial value on a requisite order to be assessed by their own perspective, priorities and set of values. They may evaluate that order depending on the budget, the current cash flow available, and a number of other priorities that require them to have a big picture view of what the whole business needs. They may feel the urgency of every other requisite that each department has landed on their desk, and the importance of keeping the life blood of the business flowing. If the order that lands on their desk doesn’t contain the right information for them to enter it into their system that order may be delayed, or worse still, added to a pile of incomplete orders to be addressed and fully populated until they can be processed without snagging up the business as a whole.
In order for us to ensure that our processes run smoothly, we must broaden our perspective to realise that not everyone we deal with sees things through the same lens we do. We must invest the energy initially into ensuring that a representative from every part of our processes contributes to the collaborative effort of making that process efficient for everyone involved. Questions must be asked to ascertain what everyone’s needs are, to share the perspective on how each link in the chain prioritises that process, and to understand how your part in the process affects the ability of the rest of the chain to do their job well.
Each of us is a cog in the overall working of a broader process, whether that’s at home or in the office. In order to be effective team members, we must understand our part in the broader objectives of the team so that we can make sure we not only do our own part well, but that we simultaneously support the rest of our team in their needs and keep all the cogs turning together.
Each of us is a subject specialist – good at what it is we’re personally focused on doing. Few, if any of us, have full perspective on what it is the others in our team do or need. That’s why we HAVE a team – so that everyone can do their specific part well. For us to work cohesively, we must share our perspectives and needs with each other though.
This is a worthwhile investment of our energy if we’re to make sure our processes flow smoothly and we don’t keep snagging each other up. Rather than assuming someone else is the problem, we must extend ourselves with patience and compassion to make sure that all our team members are on the same page and understand their part in the greater workings of the whole. What can you do to get all your subject specialists on the same page with any particular process this week? How will you lead them towards seeing each other more clearly? How will you grease the cogs of your business to turn more smoothly?
If you have a valued team member who isn’t on this mailing list and who you think may benefit from being part of the Leading Edge Community, forward this on to them. They can use this link to join, and together we can help expanded thought process towards making our teams more effective and powerful.
by Christen Killick
January 27th, 2020