Great companies invest in their people
Yes, it’s true that I LOVE technology. In fact, one of the reasons I started Mantralogix is that I had experienced firsthand just what enterprise technology could do to make a business successful!
These days, after almost 25 years as an entrepreneur and leader, the element that I love the most is the people I get to work with. This includes our team members, customers, and business partners. I have observed and learned a great deal about what people need and why addressing these needs is actually more important than the technology itself.
In this blog I’d like to share one example of how Mantralogix has addressed a training need for our team. A number of years ago we initiated a performance management system and included the element of personal development planning. When we looked across the development plans of our team members almost everyone had identified communication skills as an area that needed support. Not surprising really – given that we are in a high touch, relationship driven business.
Thanks to a creative initiative on the part of our COO, we formed a strategic
partnership with Sheridan College. Their mission statement is “To provide students of all ages with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a rapidlychanging world”. Our customers come to Mantralogix because we are experts in technology and we went to Sheridan for their expertise!
Our expectations were exceeded as we embarked on 2 full days of education focused on communication and presentation skills. And we were delighted by the quality of our instructor, Jason Lapidus, who really does live what he teaches!
I can share that both days were full of magic as we learned and grew as a team! Let’s face it – communication is an integral part of our professional and personal lives, and we can all benefit from getting better at it!
There was so much content that I took away that provided value. Here are just 2 examples that you and your teams may find helpful in evolving your communication skills!
1. Amy Cuddy – Social Psychologist – “Fake It Until You Make It”
Your nonverbal body language shapes who you are. We make sweeping judgements based on body language such as decisions on who to hire, who to date, who we like. Similarly we also influence ourselves with our own non-verbals (thoughts, feelings, psychology).
Example: we “expand” ourselves by making ourselves big and tall when we have power or feel powerful. When we feel powerless we close up and make ourselves as small as possible.
Amy argues that we can trick ourselves. If we fake it we can feel more powerful using our non-verbals.
She concludes with the following: Our bodies change our minds. Our minds change our behaviours. Our behaviours change our outcomes. Don’t fake it until you make it…fake it until you become it!
2. Mark Bowden – “The Importance of Being Inauthentic”
Our primitive brain makes instant judgements and puts all people we come across into 1 of 4 categories
Friend – so you approach them
Enemy/ Predator – so you retreat
Sexual partner/ potential mate
Indifferent – which is our default
Imagine feeling indifferent to more than 7 billion people! Imagine 7 billion people being indifferent to each other!
Research shows that unless someone is perceived as a friend you won’t listen to them. So how do you have other people perceive you as their friend? One tactic is to smile! ☺ Easy enough. It has to be a hearty, sustained smile to be effective (note: hold for 3 seconds). The second tactic we can borrow from our furry friends! Have open empty hands and an exposed belly region (signifying honesty).
Choose behaviours that may be inauthentic to you – so that people will perceive you as their friend. Otherwise you may miss out on information from others that could be a life changer – and you could even miss out on dozens of big ideas! Eventually these behaviours will become who you are.
One key learning for me has been that while technology is a great enabler, truly successful companies have come to see that the most important key to success is people. Great leaders recognize this and invest accordingly!
You see people don’t connect with technology. People connect with people. The actual tools used to connect have changed over the years, and will no doubt continue to do so increasingly in the future. But the psychology of how we connect with each other will likely remain the same. In order to trust each other, we need to have authentic interactions with each other, and truly be present with each other in our communications. If anything, it has become harder to stay engaged in the moment with the onset of incoming media and messages from a variety of technology. Technology is and will continue to be a very effective and efficient tool for us to stay productive in our lives, but it will always be the human factor, and the people to people relationships, that will determine how well we deliver our goods and services to the world.
To gain trust and build authentic, long lasting relationships, whether with our employees, co-workers, customers, or partners, it is imperative that we always keep in mind that at the heart of it all, it’s how we live, work, connect and communicate with each other that will have the largest impact on our lives personally and professionally.
Download our new ebook “Humanizing ERP” to read more about how we prioritize the human element.