As a leader, teaching is the highest ROI activity that you can do. It's not a distraction. You only accomplish what you prioritize; see it as your priority to make time to teach people. If it's your third, fourth, or fifth priority, it's not going to happen. It's got to be your top priority. Make your encouragement obvious.
Everyone learns in different ways, so give them encouragement and support them. Talk to them about how it’s going, and let them find their own way. You have to let people be individuals. No one’s going to be just like you. Find their strengths, and learn how to play those strengths.
Instead of telling people what to do, provide them with direction, explain your values, and then let them figure out how they fit in.
Believe that people can be extremely valuable. If you support them, and make them feel like they want to be on your side, then they'll give their all instead of just giving what you specifically ask for. You’ll never guess what they can really offer.
How do you evaluate really green people if they don’t have the technical skills?
Go for the soft skills, because those are hard to teach. Hard skills are relatively easy to teach. Soft skills include how honest and open they are, and how well they communicate. These are things you’ll have a really hard time changing. I end up with great developers with great soft skills.
Aim to hire people who possess a combination of great soft skills and natural talent. Let them learn the business and give them opportunities to see where they want to go. In return, you’ll have a cohesive team of devoted, engaged, and loyal employees. Download the full Grow Your Own white paper for free.
Jody is a full stack Drupal expert. She does technical architecture, strategy, development, consulting, and developer training. Jody has worked on hundreds of Drupal projects since she began as a freelancer in 2006 and co-founded Zivtech in 2008. Jody grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Harvey Mudd College in California in 2000.
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