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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Connecting is at the Heart of Developing People: Relationships

(Perspective 2 in a series of weekly perspectives on Lean Six Sigma Mentoring/Coaching principles)

Last week in part 1 of this series on Lean Six Sigma Mentoring/Coaching principles, we introduced the concept of Explosive Growth and how you generate it: Through Leaders Developing Leaders.  This week we expound on the ingredients that produce the glue and the environment to successfully mentor and coach: People + Connection = Relationships. 

The wording in the title is very intentional: Connecting at the Heart.

People.  Regardless if you are manufacturing cars, fixing planes, providing service at a hotel, seeing a patient, doing transactions at a bank, investigating a crime, or running a back office, People are the Company.  No matter what we do, we do not lead machines, paperwork, or any other inanimate object:  We lead, mentor, and coach human beings that have Hearts.  If you see any company mantra, vision, or mission statement that reads “People are our competitive advantage,” “People are our greatest assets,” or something to that effect: RUN.   I could provide you loads of data, but all you need to know is that when those companies hit a hard patch, their layoff actions speak louder than words:  “People are our greatest liabilities.”

Connection.  Going back to the virtuous circle diagram, see how the inner circle now overlaps with the middle.  For those who have “think 4 hours ahead of your student/team mindset,” you can see how powerful a Venn diagram can be to illustrate points:

In a nutshell:  Leaders engaging people create connections and relationships.  We cannot begin to discuss mentoring and coaching principles, even more importantly, successful coaching and mentoring until we can fully grasp that that you must get at the heart of people (people are the company) and the only way you can do this is with engagement and trust to build an enduring relationship.  

Relationship.  No relationships = No Mentoring and Coaching. 
As a CPI Leader, you cannot even begin to have the mentoring and coaching discussion until you understand that you must have a relationship with your people:

Successful mentoring and coaching begin with a great relationship with the people you work with.   In the next perspective, we will discuss and define what successful mentoring/coaching is and a way to measure it.  

About the Author: Ernie Shishido is a Master Black Belt with the US Air Force’s Business Transformation Office with 29+ years of uniformed military service.  Ernie can be found on LinkedIn @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/ernieshishido or by email at er.shishido@gmail.com / ernest.shishido@pentagon.af.mil (until 10 Dec 2010). 

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