This past month I’ve felt spring burgeoning in the world of my business, even as winter storms blanketed our part of the world in ice and snow. My business is growing, and I have been in the process of hiring essential new members of my team.
A great working relationship doesn’t just happen. It requires work on both inner and outer levels. Like a good marriage, it is based in a clear vision of what is truly important to you — those qualities, values, skills and ways of being in the world that are essential to you and your business.
So, if you’re getting ready to hire, start by making a list of all the qualities and characteristics that are essential to you, in a co-worker and collaborator in the world of your business. You’re not seeking perfection, here, but rather those qualities, skills and attributes that are both necessary and sufficient to grow the world of your business in harmony with your vision and values.
Think right fit for the job, rather than Mother Teresa!
Once you’re clear about the essential qualities this person must have, make an organized, itemized list of everything their job encompasses. Structure this into relevant categories: project management, team management, website design, writing, and so on.
Add to this a list of all the major systems, software and processes you use in your business, that this person will need to know in order to function effectively in the world of your business. Obviously, if you’re hiring an operations manager they will need a different level of skill with your systems than if you’re hiring a copywriter, so keep this list focused on the requirements of the job.
Based on the above, generate a list of skills and experience that are essential — and a sub-list of skills that would be nice to have — in candidates for this position.
Now that you are clear about the qualities and characteristics, as well as the skills, knowledge and experience this person must have, create an ad for your ideal person. Speak directly and compellingly to them. Tell them about your company and your team: Who you are; what you value; and whom you would love to hire. Let them know how to apply, and if it is relevant, provide an online form with a skills list that they can check off and submit, along with their application.
Give them enough concrete information so that they can discern whether this job might be a good fit for them, and vice versa.
Now, call on your allies — your Business Deva, other members of your team, your friends and colleagues, to help you connect with the right person. Share the link to your job ad with your tribe — online, and in person. Post it on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages, on your business Twitter feed, on your blog, and on any forums to which you belong.
Have a process in place for handling applications. As they come in, divide them up into categories: Definitely not. Maybe. Yes, I want to talk with this person.
Stay open to serendipity. You might connect with the right person because someone you know knows someone they know, and they help you make the connection. Or they’ve been on your team for a while, but are now ready to take on more creative responsibility.
Do your homework. Meet with people on your short-list, be receptive to the quality of their presence, and be guided by your intuition about whether, where, and how, they belong in the world of your business. Look for chemistry, ease, flow — and trust your gut.
When you talk with them, ask questions and listen for how they respond. Give them the opportunity to ask you questions as well. Share your own heart and hear theirs in return. An interview is a place to connect and explore, to discover if there is enough common ground for a fruitful relationship to unfold.
Ask for and check references — talk to people they’ve worked with. Here are some things to consider, as you talk with referees. Has your candidate done similar work for them, or are you comparing apples and oranges? Are the referee’s standards for his or her business comparable to yours? Are there things the referee might hesitate to ask your candidate to do, because they aren’t sure of their ability to do them? What do they love/find challenging about the candidate? What can they tell you about the candidate’s working style, their learning style? If this person is no longer working for their organization, why and how did the relationship end?
Use your discernment to sift through all of this information, while paying close attention to your intuition. Inner and outer work go hand in hand, in this process.
Attune to the soul essence of your short-listed candidate, as well as to their personhood — everything that makes them who they are, unique and irreplaceable. Consider the alignment between them and the soul of your business.
Throughout the process, ask yourself a few fundamental questions: If I hire this person, how will I feel? Check in with your body, to get a felt sense of your response to this question. Ask yourself: Will this person add to the sum of harmony, wholeness, creative power, and coherency in my business — or not? And, can your business offer this person what they need to truly flourish? Will they be happy in this job? How will you help them grow into the job, but also how will you support them in becoming more fully themselves?
There is an element of serendipity and magic in connecting with the right people for your co-workers — those whose vision and values, skill, knowledge and experience are in harmony with the world of your business.
Business — like any creation — is an ecology of relationships fostered through love and devotion, clear communication, integrity, willingness, reciprocity and partnership, generosity of spirit, and a host of other soul qualities.
Different people in your business’s ecology may embody these qualities to greater or lesser degree. We are all individuals, and we bring our souls as well as our personalities to work with us.
If too many essential qualities are missing, if the person you’re considering isn’t sufficiently mature or skilled, doesn’t have the skills and knowledge you need, or if there’s a large energetic discrepancy between you, it will cause friction and difficulty in your business.
On the other hand, if the person has the practical skills, genius, and experience your business needs, there’s sufficient resonance and alignment between you, and you have clear agreements and strong systems to support you, your business and everyone in it will flourish.
To summarize, here are some essential elements to consider, in crafting a soul-centered business relationship:
Is there harmony and resonance — a good energetic fit — between you and the person you’re considering as a potential ally and co-worker.
Do you have the means, capacity, willingness and structures in place to support each of you, so the relationship serves both of you and your business in becoming more whole, integrated, creative and joyful?
Is there clear and honest communication between you? What are your expectations, needs and responsibilities towards each other, towards your business? What is your reporting and accountability structure? How do you negotiate differences? What process do you have in place for handling challenges?
Once you’ve hired someone, offer them welcome, appreciation and hospitality. You are making a commitment to their well-being, and you contribute to the quality of the relationship by your own attitude toward them.
Give them time and support to find their place in the world of your business. Hold qualities of flexibility, appreciation and patience, as you build trust and negotiate the differences between you. Be clear about expectations and responsibilities, and demonstrate that you hold everyone on your team — including yourself — to the same standards of impeccability and excellence.
The best business relationships are those in which each person feels safe, cherished, and encouraged to grow according to the inner pattern of their being; where boundaries and agreements are clearly delineated and understood; and there is a foundation of love, flexibility, trust, humor, good will and clear communication.
A soul business hires by committing to the well-being and fulfillment of everyone involved. Wholeness embraces everyone and everything in your business’s ecology and provides a container for everyone’s perfect unfolding.