Human resources expert Sheila Farr has described her penchant for helping people in business as God’s gift and something natural, saying her “parents were supporters of other people and they love to see people succeed. And I’d love to sit at our dinner table when people would visit and listen to stories of things that they were doing in business and failures and successes and, you know, how they overcome those things” and listen to her parents and watch them really be encouragers for other people. She saw them as “very big encouragers,” and this made her “an eternal optimist,” always looking for positivity not only in people but in situations as well.
A former U.S. Air Force Reservist, Sheila is a teacher, best-selling author, and leadership expert with more than 25 years of experience in human resources, healthcare administration and management, training, and education. She said she started school because she had wanted to be a teacher but then got a little part-time job and fell in love with working. “I just fell in love with, you know, meeting new people and doing different things. So, I just gravitated into the human resources field, went into the military. Then I worked in the medical field as a human resources director for a few years and then transitioned over to medical services as an administrator for medical practices,” she stated, saying that was just a huge opportunity for her to go in so many different directions and learn things.
Sheila who described owning and operating a business as a huge commitment. She said she has “a love for people and seeing people succeed. I just love being the spark plug or the connector for people to help them reach their passion and live their passion,” especially for small businesses. According to her, she loves it when people come to her with an idea, but they don’t know how to get where they want to go, and she’ll sit down and build a roadmap for them by looking at how they’re doing on the inside, what they want to do and if they understand the commitment to it. She acknowledges that running a business is hard work and can be frustrating sometimes and tries “to work with people and make sure that they’re ready to take that step and that would build them up for success. So, it’s just been a blast, and I adore what I do. So, I’m very thankful for that.”
Sheila likes “personality assessments and team building and helping managers understand where their people fit in their plan,” noting that having the right person in the right seat in an organization is extremely important for success, but a lot of times, we have the right people but have them in the wrong place. She added that finding out people’s strengths, their abilities, passions, and what they like to do “makes a huge difference, and sometimes an organization can take what they’re doing, make just a few adjustments, and it makes a major impact on the outcome.”
Why Personality Assessment Is Important
Personality assessment gives you standardized, useful insights about how people behave in a work environment and predicts their job performance and if they’re a good fit for a company. This is particularly necessary because it’ll help you identify and employ the right person, which will, in turn, boost your team’s overall productivity and effectiveness.
Sheila was able to find her purpose later in life, something she said freed her off so much because she could “literally feel the chains falling off.” Before then, she was “kind of doing my own thing,” she pointed out. One day, she says, she “sat down and evaluated what had happened, what happened in my life to make me play small in the way that I approach things and sit back and not use my voice and not be a good steward of the gifts that the Lord gave me.”
She’s now grateful for all the things that have happened to her lately because they forced her to take some time to reflect and meditate and look at life, how amazing it is, and “how we shouldn’t be afraid to take the opportunities and how we don’t have to play small.” Because of how this has shaped her life, she tries to help others find their voice and has dedicated a chapter in her book “Trailblazers,” which is about “women in business who were like really handling their business and people don’t know that they’re out there because they’re kind of doing things behind the scenes and doing things quietly,” to talk about how to create and craft your own story and “free yourself of things that are holding you back” like limiting beliefs and in business, and the first steps you need to make.
Her second book “Courageous Enough To Launch” focuses on “how to overcome obstacles when you’re in a place, and you think you need to do something different, but you’re not exactly sure what you need to do, how to kind of take a self-assessment and determine, you know if you really need to step out of that nine to five or if you just need to have to talk with your supervisors and climb that corporate ladder. And then what are the steps to get that you need to start small and right where you are with your business so you can make those small steps while you’re still doing something else.”
Her passion for life-long learning led to the establishment of Gulf Coast Training & Education Services, LLC to help others gain the knowledge and skills required to stay current and relevant in today’s workforce. She partners with small businesses and individuals interested in propelling themselves to the next level and offers private courses for career enhancement, health and wellness courses, business/life coaching, and a wide range of continuing professional education courses to enable you to achieve your goals and reach new heights in your personal or professional development.
Sheila has developed several programs to help train small business employees to make them more productive. As someone with a background in insurance, and medical processes and procedures, she helps insurance companies with “something that they could use for training, whether it be workplace conflict” or something else, and offers a wide range of services like customer service for businesses, medical-type courses, personnel development, business strategies, human resources, and health and wellness. She also works online as yoga and tai chi instructor. “We just try to meet people where they are and provide the services that they need to be successful, whether it be a personal journey that they’re on or a business journey,” she explains.
The Benefits of Having the Right People in an Organization
For your business to grow and be profitable, it requires a good structure. And planning the structure ensures that you have the right employees with clearly defined responsibilities to accomplish your company’s goals.
If your organization is staffed with the right individuals, it’ll allow for better communication, clear reporting relationships, growth, expansion, efficient task completion, and fit of the company’s needs.
Having the right person in the right seat in an organization is extremely important for success and could make a huge difference in Sheila’s words.
Sheila’s Five Reasons Why You Should Embrace Remote Work
Many businesses are quickly moving online, no thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, which, according to Sheila, will prevent people from going “back to the office,” urging businesses to work remotely because it has many inherent benefits that make it more appealing.
- Reduces Commute Time: If you want to increase your employees’ productivity, you’ve got to reduce their time to and from work by encouraging them to work from home.
- Gives Access to a Wider Pool of Applicants: you’ll be able to get young and highly skilled employees outside of average commuting distance who’re ready to work with you.
- Gives Employees More Freedom: Working remotely allows your employees to operate in a way that suits them and have more control over their lives. It’s up to them to choose how and when they want to work. This will make them perform at their best.
- Lowers Costs: Embracing remote work will help cut back on renting office accommodation costs, significantly if your organization is downsizing to a smaller space after going remote.
- Increases Productivity: Allowing your staff to work from home means that they’re not in a loud environment or distracted by colleagues. This way, they’ll stay focused and try to put in their best.
What's Your Reaction?
Hi there, we are the editorial team for WomELLE to help you succeed in business. WomELLE is a community working to support women by helping them achieve their business goals through specialty services, leadership, mentoring, and networking. The magazine "WomLEAD" is to help you succeed as an entrepreneur, business owner and leader.