Developing Talent

"Cultivational" may be a new term for you. It means to be a person who prepares the mind, improves skills and performance, or develops the potential that resides within a person.

Cultivational leaders are proficient at setting clear expectations with their employees, using a collaborative approach when setting performance goals and objectives and providing sufficient feedback that causes the employee to become more engaged while at work.

Long-term business success is partly due to the owner’s or manager’s ability to treat their employees like assets instead of liabilities.

How can you become more cultivational in your style?

• Set clear expectations of performance. Just as when we were in school, set up a grading system that identifies excellent to poor behavior. We used to use the scale of A to F. Keep it simple.

• Collaborate with team members to be sure they can and will perform to your expectations. I like to ask, "What, if anything, would prevent you from performing with excellence?" Then just pause and say nothing. As in a sales presentation, don’t break the silence. If your team member reveals some obstacle, remove it if possible.

• Review progress toward excellence on a frequent basis. One gap I see in many cases is a lack of the kind of routine feedback that employees crave from their supervisor.

According to Leigh Branham in The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, employees begin to disengage and leave when their need to feel competent at work is not met. Team members need to be properly matched with jobs that fit their skills and talents, combined with regular feedback about the results of their work.

Charlie Fewell President Charlie Fewell & Associates Memphis