"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery."
--- Mark Van Doren
This magazine allows me to rub elbows with business people from a variety of industries and every one I meet has a story to tell about their business. It could be how they got started, the successes they've had and the obstacles they face, market conditions, competition woes, and triumphs and difficulties with employees. Most have been around the block a time or two and are well-seasoned in the art of business.
But sometimes I meet a business leader who is overstressed about his or her floundering business and the condition of their staff. Some complain that their employees just don't get it. They rant on about how team members are not performing and some even consider their employees incompetent and stupid. It is always amazing to see which direction their fingers are pointing - at employees - as if it is totally their fault.
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
--- Benjamin Franklin
In regard to employees, the person running a business is mentor, scout leader, organizer, babysitter, and teacher all rolled into one. It is the teaching part that is often overlooked and one that is so vital to ensuring that team members know how to perform well in their jobs. It is the responsibility of the business owner or leadership team to make sure that all employees understand the tasks they need to perform, how to perform them, and why they perform them.
"I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening."
--- Larry King
If a business leader says that his employees are stupid and can't perform their jobs, it is a reflection on the leader. The first, and one of the most important parts of teaching is determining what it is that the student (employee) needs to learn. Begin by observing and listening to team members to find out what they are missing or why the task is done improperly or poorly. A subject cannot be taught until we find out what is already known.
"Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre."
--- Gail Godwin
Teaching employees is an ongoing process and is easier if examples and stories are used to illustrate why a sign is installed a certain way or why we get the contract signed before beginning the project. Daily and weekly morning meetings are helpful in this regard and keeps employees motivated and willing to keep the business on track with its mission.
Another cool tip is to appoint one employee per week to teach a class on anything the business does. If it is sign installation, block out an hour or two in the shop for an employee to teach others how the job should be performed based on the company's standards. Allow a sales person to mentor other sales agents on how to close a sale or call on a prospect. It is true that the more you teach, the better you learn. Begin today - class is in session.
"Or heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings."
--- Walt Disney
The Solution for Printing More
By Courtney Matlick-Kubitza
The most logical way to increase the return on a heat press investment is to increase production speed. Add to that the versatility of a heat press and heat-applied graphics present many ways for apparel decorators to take their business to the next level.
Read the article...
Understanding Bit Depth
By Michael Reichmann
Unscrambling the concept of bit depth. Come on, you know you wanted to know the actual facts behind it...
Read the article...
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"If your stuff is stolen, it's not our vault!"
Outside a country shop in West Virginia:
"We buy junk and sell antiques"
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"Soft Shoulder, Blind Curve, Steep Grade, Big Trucks…. Good luck!"
We need those funny signs you've seen in your travels, come on, we know they're out there.
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