When it comes to workplace programs, I have 3 favorites to recommend to managers who wish to cultivate more Managing with Aloha “real work” practices in their culture:
- The Daily 5 Minutes, mandated for constant conversational inputs and partnership agreements
- A Value of the Month program, as mentioned last time, and
- The Monthly In-House Training program.
All 3 are about ‘Ike loa, the Value of Learning
Simply said, we strive to keep learning so we grow well intentionally, and not just as the result of our physical aging.
I see these 3 programs as learning initiatives;
- The Daily 5 Minutes = Learning to listen better, and learning to receive well (whatever you hear)
- A Value of the Month Program = Learning to use values as the very practical tools they are in our human toolkit: We use them personally, organizationally, and in our community living
- In-house Training = Learning about the assets of our workplace team, so we can discover how to connect with those assets as our accessible resources
Let’s talk about that 3rd one today: Monthly in-house training programs. It’s actually the easiest one for you to do right now, regardless of your business discipline, because you do it with the assets you already have, and need not know a single thing about Managing with Aloha at all.
You know what I’m talking about: You have a class each and every month. The subject matter differs each month, because the presenter gets to choose it; they’ll share, teach, and coach the class in some area of their expertise, whether talent, skill, strength or knowledge. The result is often some pleasing combination; it’s their personal and professional story of all four — and of their HO‘OHANA; their daily intentions with purposeful and important work.
‘In-House’ means that this is not a program of visiting professors. No paid consultants or trainers — not even me! This is done by you and your people, and not just by managers, but by anyone willing to do so.
Sometimes you won’t even need a classroom: Some of the best in-house trainings are done out in the field — your field — or as a community-based field trip that connects the dots of what you’d describe as your Sense of Place, tapping into its wealth.
All of us are in workplaces infused with talent, skill, strength and knowledge as our accessible resources, that much is fact. The only question is, are you tapping into those resources as much as you could be?
Are you a manager?
If you are, I want to finish this posting with some encouragement for you: Be one of these trainers. You don’t even need a company-wide program to sanction it, and you can stretch it to a quarterly event if better for you to start… once you’re rolling with it though, and invite others on your team to take the podium and do the next one, I guarantee you, the months won’t come fast enough for you to schedule everything you want to!
Remember reading about ShopTalk in Managing with Aloha, and how it evolved to our Vendor Partnership Program for Hualalai? Here is a snippet from Chapter 11 on ‘Ike loa, the value of learning:
We started a weekly forum called ShopTalk. For one hour each week, every retail clerk on the resort —which included a modest warehouse staff —would participate in this forum of retail learning. Product knowledge was a staple on the agenda, and my vendors were asked to help me teach it —they were the ones who knew most about their own products (think back to Kuleana and delegation strategy). My shop managers were asked to facilitate forums on store operations, and our warehouse staff covered that operation.
For my part, I normally taught and explained our retail business plan, investing more in our relationship as business partners. As retail manager I was also buyer, and I’d attend the instructional seminars given at trade shows as student so I could replenish my own arsenal as teacher: My crew came to think of my post-travel ShopTalks as the trend discussions they could look forward to, linking our local operation with the retail industry as a whole. Soon we found that our ShopTalk students became the teachers too: As Mea Ho‘okipa, they were the best qualified to mentor all of us about delivering better service, and maintaining our ever-constant focus on the customer. ShopTalk became both a forum for learning and a celebration of the immense wealth of talent we had and could share with each other.
You can read the complete chapter, by taking the Book Excerpt link over in the right column under Resource Pages. That chapter includes a description of The Daily Five Minutes as well.
Your people are hoping you will make something like this happen. Believe me, they expect you to be teacher, trainer, and coach for them, even if they don’t come right out and say so. Their school of the future germinates in the workplace, in the place they will connect their learning to their earning.
My own encouragement for you, has to do with how good it will make you feel.
Conducting a training workshop, where the class is small enough for me to look everyone in the eye, and where I am able to sense their presence and connection with whatever we’re talking about (usually about 50 people at most) is my favorite thing to do. I’ve had quite a bit of practice at it, but I truly don’t believe I’m any better at it than you can be: I don’t love it because of my own performance. I love it because of the energy: I love what happens in the room when learning is engaging for people. I love seeing the heads shake or nod; I love seeing questions on faces and lights in eyes. I love doubt as much as I love the aha! moment, for doubt means we have to talk about this, and probably should… it will probably open a door that had been closed before.
Doubt and questions create those golden opportunities for me, when I momentarily go off agenda (sometimes abandoning it totally) because the people in the room didn’t need my agenda per se; they just needed the prompting it gave them. Those will usually be my best classes of all, because people didn’t just sit and passively listen. They engaged and got involved; they made the class theirs, and not just mine.
And you know what? You have a better chance of having that kind of success happen in your in-house training than I’ll ever have. You know your stuff — and it’s locational experience, and expertise which is highly relevant to people in your working world. In comparison, I always start with Managing with Aloha being something extra for a group, or something totally new. And you know your people — you are aware of connections in the room, and you sense their unasked questions better than I can ever do.
Please don’t deny yourself the goodness: If you don’t have an In-House Training program now, be the person who starts one, and who becomes its champion. You will be honoring and championing all the resources of the company you keep, and you will relish your own growth as it happens, a win-win for everyone involved.
“Whatever it is you want to do, find the person who does it best. Then see if they will teach you.”
— When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear