"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
--- Benjamin Franklin
Venturing into, not just a new year, but a new decade, is exciting. It's a chance for us all to set new goals and adjust our plans to reach new heights with our businesses and in our lives. It's not only an exciting time, but a challenging one as well. We have the future ahead of us with all that entails: great opportunities for expanding our business, growing our profits, and impacting our communities. It's a time to learn from the past without dwelling on it and for teaching what we've learned to all of our team members.
But teaching isn't always an easy task. We have to make sure that the student is ready to learn, and we have to be prepared to teach in a way that will make learning fun, as well as impactful. In business, teaching and training go hand in hand. Once we teach something to an employee, we should make sure they understand it and train them in any necessary tasks they should know.
"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves."
--- Galileo Galilei
The first step in teaching others is having willing and capable students. If we've followed a good course of screening and interviewing our team members during the hiring phase of the employee lifecycle, we should already have students who are eager to learn how to perform well in their jobs. They want and even hunger for more responsibility and to learn more about how they can become more engaged in their positions within the company.
"We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn."
--- Peter Drucker
Next, give team members the tools they need to learn more. Provide opportunities for continual improvement by offering them access to classes at local universities, sending them to sign association seminars and lectures, assigning them a mentor within the company, and providing a library of sorts located somewhere in the office or shop. These small efforts will always allow those with the gumption to learn more to have materials available to them.
"When I became proficient as a salesman I was invited to teach new hires."
--- Zig Ziglar
Finally, although most of us are not professors or professional teachers, we have a lot to offer and to pass on to others simply based on our life experiences. We have to share what we know with those willing to learn. In fact, we are cheating others in our business if we don't teach them what is in our head and what we've learned over the years. Our team members are watching us and they know that they don't know what we know. Give them the opportunity to learn and to better themselves while boosting the productivity of our businesses.
"I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk."
--- Tony Robbins
Happy New Year!
Sign Pricing Series - Pricing Approaches and Accuracy
By Scott St. Cyr
This series on pricing and estimating will address the most common pricing approaches for different segments of the sign and graphics industry.
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Maternity Clothes Shop:
"We are open on labor day"
Providence Presbyterian Church, Florence, NJ:
"Church Parking! Only Violators Will Be Baptized"
As seen on a hotel balcony in Daytona Beach:
"Caution: Please be aware that the balcony is not on ground level!"
We need those funny signs you have seen in your travels, come on, we know they are out there. Send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.