Here is another excerpt from my book Hiring and the Potter’s Wheel: Turning Your Staff Into a Work of Art.
If you buy 60 books, one full carton, at the regular price of $1200, I will travel at my own expense to see you* and give you four hours of my business knowledge in the form of seminars, workshops, training, mentoring, coaching, or whatever you see fit.
Enjoy this lesson, one of the lessons I had to learn the hard way…
Chapter 14 Lesson #7 Smoothing the Rough Spots
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.” – FrancesDe Sales
As Mary smoothed the rough edges of her bowl she pondered what lesson she could learn from this step in the process. “If I’ve put them in a safe place to use their skills, what roughness will be left?” she thought. A smile came to her face. “Evaluations! I’ve got to make sure there is time for evaluations during and after the safe zone period. Even though they are using their skills, there will still be rough edges needing smoothing.
“I know,” she thought, “I can take the training skills checklist and do follow-up evaluations on each skill just to make sure there are no bad habits, no rough spots. Oh yes, and the evaluations must be completely positive – show them what to do right, rather than harp on what was done wrong. They’re still fragile at this time. Yes, fragile. That’s what Peter meant. The bowls, while dry, are still fragile and need to be safe. The trainees, while trained, are still fragile and need to be in a safe environment where they can learn from their mistakes. It all makes sense,” Mary concluded.
Peter wandered the room checking up on everyone’s bowls, looking for missed rough spots. By the end of class he deemed every bowl to be ready.
“Okay, put the bowls safely on the rack. On Wednesday we fire them for the first time.”
“The first time?” Mary asked.
“Yes,” Peter replied. “On Wednesday we are going to do what is called ‘bisque-firing’. This will harden your bowls so that they won’t be so fragile.
“By the way,” Peter continued. “We will not be meeting here. All of you are invited to my studio. I’ve put the address and directions on these little slips of paper. Unfortunately, the directors here at the YMCA will not let me build a kiln inside the Y, so we’ll use my kiln at the studio. See you Wednesday.”
*PS Although my offer is good only for the continental United States, if you’re willing to pay the airfare, too, I’m willing to travel internationally.