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Six Steps to Develop the Magic in Others

Organizations are missing the target when it comes to people. Well, not entirely. It is not the war for talent, a zero-sum game at best, because there will always be a shortage of skills to create and sustain growth and innovation. That view will leave you scratching your head with few options.

It is not a singular focus on happiness, an expensive and hit-or-miss game at best, because happiness is fleeting and is costly to achieve. It is not about offering the best rewards, because targeting internal motivation with external measures is short-lived.

Engagement, total rewards, & other practices in place to satisfy needs have helped organizations evolve in what is important to people, and will continue to, but times now dictate an expanded approach to talent.

It is this: to fuel the human desire to grow, improve, develop, and finally be able to live at least some aspect of their soul purpose at work.

To make errors or demonstrate weaknesses with authenticity, in order to learn, grow, and become their magical selves and work in a climate where what it means to be human is transformed and developed, rather than ranked, rated, criticized or fired.​ To experiment, within reason, with new methods, approaches and technology to reach customers who are also looking to live their soul purpose, and to connect with products and services that fulfill it.

To be acknowledged as a dynamic human becoming rather than a static human being.

Developing the magic in others means keeping the focus on the future and what can be changed. Of course, you will have to point out errors from time to time that need corrected for the sake of the business, but even then, there is a way to give feedback that helps people see the opportunity for growth (which can change) instead of the failures of the past (which can’t change),

Here are six steps to developing the magic in others:

1. Assess talent readiness. You need a variety of insights, personality and behavioral tools, and career conversations to assess a person's level of readiness for the next development opportunity as well as guide today’s performance. You need a picture of what people know, what they have done, what they are good at, and where they need to grow built into a profile of success as a standard for peak performance.

Finally, you need a way to bring out into the open the barriers and blocks to higher performance due to mindset, beliefs, values or fear of being vulnerable and revealing weaknesses.

This keeps people moving toward a bright future instead of taking repeated side trips down an unpleasant memory lane.

2. Champion careers. You keep the magic in front of others by reminding them of their use (or misuse) of their magical capabilities and traits that support their career, help them see their potential over the long term, offer strategies for developing careers not limited by promotions, and prepare for successful career moves, experiences and assignments. All of this happens in a series of career conversations.

3. Broker experiences and relationships. Your role here is to help people find the assignments/experiences that create "the most bang for the buck," or, the most development opportunity for the time and effort spent. You also provide connections to the right people who can support someone being in a new experience, especially where both risk and stretch are involved. I help you plan a sequence of steps to set someone up for success in a new role or situation.

4. Unlock magical minds. This is working below the iceberg, at the unseen level of beliefs, assumptions, values, judgments, interpretations and conversational habits that facilitate or block action, risk taking, commitment, and goal achievement. Skills involved include framing and reframing, sensemaking and sensegiving, coaching agility, and building a growth vs. a fixed mindset. This is where the REAL magic happens. You can also learn to coach others' moods and body postures/energies to facilitate action and growth.

5. Crowdsource development. This means using practices, tools and skills that engage learning with others in real time on real business challenges. This is where you build a deliberately developmental organization and use the growth building process to shape others' character, personality, and overall development, while the work is getting done. This is where feedback and learning happen from the wisdom of the crowd. Methods include, but are not limited to, action learning, collaborative inquiry and group coaching.

6. All of this culminates in individual and group development plans that are the road map to growth, and are driven by your developmental practices, safe culture for growth and transformation, and the intentions of those developing themselves. Plans are often co-developed in partnership with a team member, you as the team member's manager, coaches, mentors and peers.

Finally, your role as a leader is to coach others to both their performance and their potential. These are distinct, but separate concepts and coaching is maximized when both are addressed.

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