As a business owner, you are busy directing traffic, handling multiple tasks, you need things organised and happening now. But do you remember when you were a kid, remaining very quiet, taking everything in around you, by only observing….you discovered new things, things you hadn’t noticed before. Read my hack as to why observation is still a smart management tool 101.

Employees are hired to do specific jobs. With some basic numbers in place, you know what you want them to achieve and by when. As good owners, we delegate and then mange outcomes – either by completion (successes or feedback) or by changes (be they valid or as a result of failure). But when you are busy, you are more than likely not so sure of how they go about achieving their results.

So when the workplace seems a little bit more stressed than it should, your gut tells you something is happening. Perhaps a customer passes a comment that does not ring true with your business culture, is someone having an off day, is it a part in your business systems that is broken, perhaps you don’t even give it a second thought because of all the tasks you are doing yourself.

Owners generally tackle the issue, ask some questions, and more than likely, receive assurances that everything is fine. Satisfied, as owner, you move on because you trust your employees. But then the issue repeats itself some time later again and again.

The easiest and quickest thing to do is to react – this may change behaviours in the short term, and or it could bury the issue even deeper – can’t admit to the boss I am wrong or made a mistake!

As a Business Coach Melbourne, my challenge to you is to remain quiet, remain in observation mode. To get results that will last, you need to observe the cause of the issue not the issue itself. So, some hacks to master this tool:

1 Write down the issue when it occurs (don’t rely on memory), and then write the IMPACT if the issue is not fixed

2 After work, or during a quieter moment, think through some of the likely causes and jot your notes down

3 Go into observation mode, see who does what, and how issues arise/dealt with

4 Clarify the benchmark standard you want the team to achieve

5 Determine what you observed compares to the benchmark and your notes in items 1 and 2 above

6 Talk to your team/individual about the issue

This hack gives you have a structure to follow, clarity on what you need to communicate, and definition of the standard required. As Melbourne Business Coach I find that employees do not always understand the impact of their actions – they are no different than your kids/young adults. Take the time to observe and then communicate, and you’ll be surprised at how much more responsive your employees will be to changing their behaviour, and helping you deliver the service and standards that your business demands.