What would you think if you were driving along in your car and all of a sudden the car right in front of you came to a dead stop? That’s right, a dead stop with no directional, emergency flashers or anything at all to give the drivers behind them (me!) indication about what was going on in their mind.
It was clearly my good fortune, and good driving habits, that I had left enough space between my car and theirs so when they came to an abrupt stop I was able to stop my car as well without rear-ending them.
The entire incident took about 20 seconds from dead stop to when the driver took his foot off the brake and continued on his way (and in the same direction too).
Were they lost? Did they decide to read or send a text? Take a call? Change the radio station? I have no clue but at the time I was simply grateful that a pileup didn’t occur. Grateful and just a little bit pissed off too.
And then I asked myself: was I supposed to be able to read their mind and know they were going to stop?
So true confessions – I’m not a mind reader and I daresay, neither are you. You’re smart and capable but you just can’t read minds. You need information and knowledge and, yes advance warning to be able to plan and make sound business decisions.
So if you’re not a mind reader then how do you keep your finger on the pulse of your company and get the knowledge that you need to run it effectively?
Here are (3) three suggestions for running your business so you DON’T have to be a mind reader:
1. Establish and document your internal processes and procedures so that there is never a question or uncertainty about who is doing what to whom. By documenting these practices you will help to ensure that everyone in your firm is knowledgeable about what needs to be done and who is supposed to be doing it. You’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your employees understand what they are doing and why, and no one will have to be a mind reader.
2. Design reporting systems for individuals and departments so that you will be aware of progress, strengths and weaknesses and can act upon them BEFORE they escalate.Knowledge provides you with the power to act so that you don’t have to rely on your ability to react.
3. Create a culture of open communication whereby you and your employees don’t have to be mind readers to know what is going on. If employees are fearful of bring important issues to management it doesn’t much matter if there are established processes, procedures and reporting systems. Open communication ensures timely dissemination of important information and eliminates the need to be a mind reader. This establishes a culture of trust!That is a win-win situation!
Running a business is stressful and hard enough. Set it up so that you are process driven and information based and you won’t have to be a mind reader! And if you don’t have documented processes and descriptions for your employees Unique Business Solutions and our Partners can help you create them across the entire organization. Let us know if we can help.
From the December 2014 Unique Business Solutions Newsletter