It’s important to constantly measure your business activities against you Mission, Values and Vision. Of course this is easier said than done. There are hundreds of small things that can take a lot of your time. You must find a way because you are responsible for the nourishment of your business just as you would be for a seedling in your garden. No one understands your Mission, Values and Vision better than you, the Founder and the only way you can permeate your organization with your core elements is to do it yourself.
This might require that you change the way you work and manage your time. You probably really enjoy the hands on effort required to contribute the product or service that you provide. After all, that’s why you started the business anyway. If you continue to work with your head down(on your service, product, or day to day details) and never take time to look at and construct the big picture, it can be fatal. “Big picture thinking” is probably your greatest responsibility and you will need to find regular time for it. If you routinely use the following processes and act in the following ways, you will steer your enterprise in the right direction.
The Vision Keeper should have a clearly documented Mission, Values and Vision for your enterprise. If these documents are in place, they will be a steady reference for setting objectives and other types of decision making. These documents are like describing elements of a blueprint that your business is built on. Sherrie Campbell “The 10 Mental Skills Necessary to Become a Strategic Visionary”
A Strategic Plan
A plan of action to achieve objectives must be designed and maintained. This plan should allow for changes because of our dynamic environment but a general plan to achieve goals and objectives helps you to arrive at the destination that you have envisioned. If you don’t have a plan, you’re at the mercy of the moment and it could take you anywhere or even worse, no where.
A Strong Learning Attitude
It’s important to learn from all experiences, good and bad. This expands your perspective and helps you to attack future problems effectively. Frequent reading in your discipline is enormously helpful and related videos, or social media articles can help you sharpen your skills and strategies. Seek advice on the various aspects of your business when you can. A learning attitude can eliminate a lot of trial and error.
“The tribe often thinks that the Visionary has turned his back on them. When in fact, the Visionary has simply turned his face to the future”
Ray A. Davis
An Awareness of Your Emotions
If something doesn’t “feel right”, pay attention to that feeling and investigate the reasons for that feeling . This instinct is an “innate inclination toward a particular behavior”, as described by Francis Cholle of The Intuitive Company. Paying attention to instinct brings all of the ability of the brain to work on a particular problem.
See Patience as a Critical Value
Everything takes some time to manifest. Time is required for you to immerse yourself and your team into your Mission, Values, Vision and Strategies. Patience leads to a high level of skill development and mastery and will build your reputation as a good leader who doesn’t give up. Building a great business takes patience and commitment.
A “Vision Keeper” must take time out of his/her busy schedule to be the “Captain of the Ship” and the captain must have a map to help maintain the course or the ship will end up anywhere or no where. The only way that you can have a map is to take time to draw one up. This requires regular times of contemplation. Determine your best thinking time and put it in your schedule. This will help you have essential documentation including a strategic plan ( collaborated if needed ). Remain open minded with a learning attitude and pay attention to your emotions. What could they be telling you? Finally, practice patience to immerse your enterprise in the great Vision that you have for the future and persevere in the face of the many obstacles that you will inevitably face with patience.
Once you can identify your conflict management style, using it quickly to resolve the matter will highlight the benefits of conflict in your enterprise. Dealing with conflict early in the process can improve the openness of employee communications and reinforce the Mission, Values, Vision and Systems necessary achieve your objectives. Conflict is inevitable because of many factors. The changing environment, the progress of technology, individual differences and many other factors will cause conflict. Looking at it in a different manner will be profitable to you. If we can have the possible benefits of conflict in mind, we can look at its occurrence as a possible tool for advancement. The following 7 benefits have been identified:
1. There may be situations or workplace issues that need to be addressed. Something that is not obvious to the manager may be causing a disruption in your system or objectives. Often, conflict can allow you to take a closer look at your operations.
2. Team work can to be strengthened. Conflict management gives an opportunity to create stronger bonds and greater alliance. Sometimes, commonalities surface and the conflict can be resolved around these factors. “Conflict Isn’t Always Bad” salary.com
3. Goals are more effectively achieved. Often, goals are clarified and enhanced once the conflicting elements are addressed. You may uncover material or deficiencies that were previously unknown.
4. Commitment is often enhanced. This occurs when everyone involved is allowed to share their views and feel that what they think has been considered in the final decision.
5. Productivity is often improved. Workers can be more focused on getting the work done. Particularly if they had a say so in the required procedures.
6. Change is easier if it is the result of agreed upon needs from conflict resolution. New opportunities, products or services and procedures may surface as a result of the conflict management effort. When the involved parties help identify the needed changes, they are more likely to work toward them.
7. The business culture is often enhanced. Conflict management gives the leader an opportunity to reinforce values that are critical to the successful culture. This is a time to remind workers of what values should be exhibited as the enterprise is growing.
The way we consider conflict can affect the way we handle it. We can handle it negatively or positively. Handling conflict positively, expecting helpful results, will contribute to the growth of your business and minimize the number of times you will have to manage conflict.
Managers and supervisors spend approximately 25% of their time resolving some type of conflict. The time spent managing conflict has increased because of the growing complexity of business and organizations. Therefore, how we manage conflict can significantly affect employee morale, employee turnover, business productivity, and the possibility of litigation. These types of conflict can be very disruptive and costly. As you are growing your small business, it helps to gain knowledge of the various sources of conflict because you can be proactive and prevent some of the disruption and cost.
There are at least 10 sources of conflict that have been identified in the literature.
Responsibility – There is often a conflict when workers are confused about their duties and the expected outcomes. Good plans, goal setting and adequate communications are required to eliminate this situation.
Leadership – The leadership style of the manager or supervisor will influence understanding and commitment An autocratic style tends to close down the thinking process of the workers and they are not fully engaged so that they will make adjustments if needed. They do what they are told, not what they really understand and are fully involved in. A collaborative management style values the employee’s view and uses it to help set goals. Performance related conflict is less likely with collaborative styles of management.
Personality – This is probably one of the most frequent causes of conflict in the workplace. Different moods may be in conflict or simply different ways of behaving may be in conflict. For example, the differences between introverts and extroverts. This can be the cause of difficulty when working with others.
Conflicting Needs – Here you will see conflict of interests due to differing needs. Such as the need to be a perfect parent as well as the perfect worker.
Poor Communications – This can lead to uncertainty, rumors and gossip. All of these can help to tear down an organization. Prevent this.
Scarce Resources – In this situation, there may be limited resources but each of the parties involved have critical responsibilities that need the resources. Priorities must be set.
Poor Performance – Low quality of work, customer complaints, waste of materials etc. can result in varying levels of conflict between coworkers. An in-depth analysis of the situation is needed to determine the factors involved.
Environment – This involves situations outside of the organization such as recession, high unemployment rate and others.
Organization – This occurs when a vague, illogical, or unfair hierarchy of authority is in place. Therefore, the way workers report to each other creates conflict.
Power – The people involved in this conflict all want to have the most influence in an area when only one can be in charge.
There is usually a complex system of dynamics occurring when conflict arises. So it helps if the manager can understand some of the potential sources and can begin to design a plan for the resolution. Keep in mind the importance of dealing with conflict as early in the process as possible to eliminate the degree of damage to your organization.
Customers are the life forces of our businesses. We take time to identify who they are and test the hypothesis associated with our mission with these potential customers. After this is done, we’re ready to serve the life forces of our business. Before we actually serve the customers that we have identified, it’s a great idea to design our method for building customer loyalty. It really is all about relationship building and there are 4 fundamental steps we can follow. Adapted from “50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew” by Sonia Simone.
1. Customers want to know that they can rely on you. They want to know that you will keep your word and deliver on time.
2. If you don’t know something, they appreciate you when you admit it. This allows them to relate to your human side.
3. Customers want to know that when they refer someone, it will make them look good and feel smart because your service or product was exactly as they had described.
4. Customers never want to feel that they were tricked into trusting you.
Make Things as Simple as Possible
1. Keep communications across all media as clear and simple as possible.
2. Keep the learning curve as short as possible. Make your product or service very easy to master.
3. Remember, customers are basically lazy, they want you to do the work and they get the credit for it.
4. Reduce the stress in your customer’s life and they will value your relationship.
1. Listening is an important life skill and a critical business skill.
2. Ask customers, regularly, want services or products they need from your business. This is helpful for you and the customer.
3. Repeat what you think the customer is saying to insure complete understanding.
4. Listen and look for subtle clues such as facial expressions or things that stand out in the conversations.
Enhance Your Customers’ Self Esteem
1. Customers are always concerned about themselves and their interests. Make their needs a priority.
2. Never make your customer feel awkward or silly.
3. Make your customers know that they have your undivided attention.
Help your customers know that they are good people capable of great things. and you want them to advance.