30.06.14

Reassuringly human IT pros.


Making the Most of your ‘Human Resources’

With all this focus on tin, tech and code you’d be forgiven for thinking IT engineers and software developers aren’t particularly human, at least that is a common perception; geeks in server rooms wearing unusual fashions with a passion for Heavy Metal and fast food.  What technical companies need are teams of people, pulling together, considering the user experience and the customer and generally getting along. Then their tastes in music, food and fashion are irrelevant.  We must remember to invest in our people, and make sure we are reassuringly human in our approach to customers and our staff.

At Onebyte we are lucky enough to have our Operations Manager, Caroline help us create our team.  A trained NLP practitioner dedicated to helping people reach their potential, Caroline also has her own training and coaching business, Turn the Corner Training.  Here’s her view on team building.

Hiring staff can be a time-consuming and expensive task. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it 100% right. Once past that initial gut feel of whether you ‘click’ with someone, followed up with even the most searching of interview questions to get you as close as possible to knowing for sure that you’ve made the right choice, it still takes time to get to know that person.

And it’s not only a question of whether a candidate can fit the role you’re looking to fill, it’s also about whether — and how — they’ll fit into your existing team ‘dynamic’ (we’ll come back to that word later!)

Over the years, I’ve hired and worked with teams of all shapes, sizes and capabilities. And the one single thing that sets apart an average or even good team from an excellent one, is the extent to which the team ‘gels’. It’s that extra degree of commitment and care that each person has for the others and for the goals toward which they are all working.

In fact, as a practising NLP professional, I’ve learned that making that possible is only a matter of ‘how’. Coaching a good team to develop into an excellent one was what inspired me to get myself qualified as an NLP Trainer and help others develop that same potential in their own teams.

I now come back to that phrase ‘team dynamic’. NLP — Neuro Linguistic Programming — is all about how we each experience the world around us, how we process it through our senses and how that impacts the way we express ourselves and communicate with others.

We — human beings — are not static. We are ever-changing; dynamic if you will. Each experience adds to and changes our existing repository of knowledge that makes us the individuals we are, in the same way a new member of a team will change an existing team dynamic.

So would it be of interest to you to learn that there are ways in which you can positively influence the ever-changing dynamic of your ‘human resources’?

Well, one of the seven habits of successful people is: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Once you understand not only their capabilities, but also how someone prefers to learn, you will be able to present something in the way in which that person is most receptive to it. And imagine how much more responsive and eager that person could be when presented with something in ‘their language’.

Having motivated each member of the team in this way, if you then encourage them to share with each other what they each hope to gain from the project or goal they are working towards, they will find common ground and that’s where the magic begins, as they start to work more interdependently.

So, if you truly want your most valuable assets to perform to the best of their abilities, then remember: Possible is only a matter of ‘how’!