A Grill Cleaning Lesson, Mr. G.-Style

It was a hot summer day and I was sitting by the pool in the courtyard of my building, where there is also a nice grill where residents can barbecue. As I worked on my computer preparing a presentation, I was also watching a maintenance worker teach another worker how to clean the grill.

Now this worker did not speak much English, which made it even more powerful to watch how masterfully this guy could teach!

I actually put everything down to watch this magnificent guy, thinking how he should be a corporate trainer. He was soft-spoken and articulate, and used easy-to-understand language without talking down to the worker. He would stop, point out things, and have the fellow recap points of the lesson to make sure he was understanding.

The worker was kind of nervous in the beginning, worried about making mistakes. But his teacher had a system and was very thorough. He presented a very specific way to do the job, along with the exact tools the worker would need to do the job well.

He could have just laid out the instructions and headed back inside to the air conditioning. But he stayed there in the hot mid-afternoon sun, standing over this grill to watch the worker clean, offering tips or encouragement along the way.

I went over and complimented him on a job well done, and he received the acknowledgment really well. I could tell that he took his job seriously (but didn’t take himself too seriously). He wanted things done right because he cares about the company. And that trickled right down to the worker, who also wanted to do a good job for his teacher.

What about you?

  • Are you taking the time to develop your people, while being careful not to talk down to them?
  • Do you have a system for accountability, and are you providing the right tools for the job?
  • Do you get in the trenches with them, even when things get hot?
  • Do you constantly show them how much you care about the company, with your words as well as your actions?
  • Do you watch them work and give them feedback, in a way that builds their confidence?

The whole scenario reminded me a lot of my old baseball coach, Mr. G. Mr. G. kept us accountable by setting clear goals and expecting us to achieve them, but he also worked hard to help us develop our skills. And that’s the kind of commitment I saw in this teacher.

So take a lesson from Mr. G. the baseball coach, and my friend the maintenance worker – care about your people, develop your people, and they will care about doing their jobs well.

Alan M. Dobzinski is a masterful meeting facilitator who can pinpoint exactly what’s been stopping or blocking your profitability. What could your people accomplish in a culture of accountability? Find out now by contacting Alan today.