developing employees

March 20, 2010

Management Development Tips – The Simple Art Of Coaching Your People

There are many ways to develop those employees that you have within your team. Some are more productive than others and depend on your own, personal management style.

The easiest way is to ensure that you use the momentum each individual has within themselves.

When we manage, we use the services of the individuals in our teams, to pull together to create a valuable return on our investment in them.

A lot of a manager’s time is spent focusing on ensuring that they do what we want them to do and chasing them till they do.

We can fire instructions all day long – and then tomorrow, come right back for more which, frankly, makes for a day’s hard work, every day of your career.

Or we can coach.

Over the last few years, coaching has got a bit of a reputation.

From a weird and wonderful ‘mumbo-jumbo’ new age activity (the ‘life-coaching’ thing), right through to seriously expensive executive coaching at the highest level, coaching comes in all shapes and forms.

For managers, it’s a behavior; a style of way of working that’s useful and effective and doesn’t require loads of time one-on-one and face-to-face with someone sitting across from you in your office for a couple of hours.

Coaching is best done in the informal relationships you have with your people, in the easy and regular conversations you have with them all the time.

The truth is that it’s not hard to find out for yourself what coaching is all about – and as you master it as a skill, you will have all you need to be a very effective – and attractive – manager style.

There are books and programs out there that offer instruction and advice about what to do first and second and last. The truth is that coaching isn’t that difficult at all – the experts and gurus just make it out to be!

Forget the huge expense and months, if not years, of exclusive and extravagant training, be it online, via conference call or as many away-days that you can squeeze in.

It’s always best to find ways to make it easy for you, with relevant, quick and simple action steps to use every day, to help you make the most of this amazing skill.

When you seek the information you need to understand what coaching is all about, you want to find only as much as you need to make this work really well for you. The information and skills you seek will be geared to simple application and practice, leading to a growing confidence inside yourself with results to boot.

Coaching is not at all complicated, whatever you might hear, especially at the level a manager needs. Good questioning and listening skills, mixed in with a healthy dose of effective relationship building and you’re there.

And it is probably the most powerful management skill you can use, in whatever business or organization you are in, at whatever level of experience or skill you currently have.

Because having a coaching attitude, overlays everything we do in the way we support guide and manage those in our care as managers.

And that’s very powerful indeed!

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Management Basics, Management Development Tips by Martin

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March 15, 2010

3 Valuable Reasons To Develop Your People

One of the biggest reasons managers fail to achieve their best results is because they fail to make the move from ‘doing’ to ‘managing’. It seems much easier to work even harder and make sure the job is done right because it’s you doing it. This is not a solution that is sustainable.

Many managers make assumptions about the capability of their people based on the flimsiest of evidence, if there is any evidence at all. Often there is a belief that employees are incapable of taking on more and growing in their role.

They fail to do this because they find it hard to nurture and raise the bar for the people in their teams, many of whom have significantly more potential than is visible at the surface.

It’s not easy to pin the causes of this directly on those managers who seem to miss the ‘developing others’ boat. In many managers there is a significant difference in their aptitude for seeing the value in their people. Some seem more able to make the best out of the individuals who work with them and others find it harder.

In fact, there are real gems out there in our teams. Pretty often, you have people right now who are capable of much, much more. And when you find the right key, unlocking that potential can quickly and easily provide success for your business for years to come.

Just some of the benefits of well managed teams, where the individuals have been enabled to meet their potential are as follows:-

1.    Developing your people will make your job a lot easier, because much of the work that you seem to need to do right now, can be effectively delegated to others who are just as able to do it as their skills extend

2.    Developing your people will make them much happier, because as they succeed in achieving new challenges that stretch them, their interest is maintained, they feel good about themselves and they become more marketable, as their skills grow

3.    Both of these will make you a lot happier and much more fulfilled, when you see your people become better employees and that you have been the facilitator of them achieving their potential in the work they do

Each of these aspects of management are so often underplayed. It’s safe to say that there are far wider implications emotionally, mentally, socially and well as economically when you take the time to get people development right. This is where everyone’s a winner

You cannot make the business thrive without ‘Developing Your People’ being on the highest of your agendas. And that’s where many managers fall down.

They simply struggle to move from doing it all themselves, to fulfilling their own role of managing others to do their jobs well.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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March 4, 2010

Team Building – Finding The Hidden Gold

Managing teams in your organization is a challenging experience.

Finding the right people for the roles you have can be a tricky proposition, yet when you take the time to get to know your people, you might be surprised what you find.

We all want the best people in our team. The demands placed on us to deliver results from our role as managers are unremitting as must our search for the best people.

Surprisingly, there are individuals around who might offer more than you think. Employees that you already have in place can often carry talents that are hidden away, for a variety of reasons, so there are tactics a manager can adopt to ensure that all potential is realized.

Here are a few to get you started…

1. Keep your ears and eyes open – and engage in conversations that are curious about people.

Whatever happens, even if there are few gold nuggets out there, the worst thing is that people see you are interested in them.

There’s a zillion managers out there who aren’t at all interested in their people much at all, so you will immediately get brownie points at the very least!

2. Know that there’s talent out there – that you can bring out.

People have all sorts of skills, experiences and histories that might be of value, if only you knew about it.

You can’t find that out unless you get amongst them and find out!

3. Your people will hide their aspirations
– because they think you aren’t that interested in them.

Sad but true, work experience isn’t the best place for people to see the generous nature of managers.

Far from it. In fact their experience will tell them that a manager may well not even care to know their name.

4. You can make it happen for them
– when you know about it.

When you do find out about what they are looking for, it’s a real big help to you, for them and you and your business.

Your role can be enabling for them, by kick-starting new careers that their capabilities could support.

5. Management is often about joining the dots
– that you’ve discovered.

See where this is going?

As a manager, your prime role is to lead and facilitate the people in your team, not to do everything yourself.

When you are that link, with what you find out, then there’s a whole new bunch of opportunities out there.

Listening to your people, letting them spill their hidden talents as well as their hopes for the future, can be a true win-win.

6. Management is about people – not doing stuff, however attractive that might be.

No-one minds a manager giving a hand now and then, it’s a choice, not to be depended on. But the role is about people, managing them is the headline, yet it’s so much more.

Great managers are there to make the best business decisions and these can easily be the best people decisions too.

In fact, when there is a coming together of business needs matched with individual’s possibilities, there can be no better way forward.

Your people are chock-full of potential. Releasing it will help you, help them, to make your team much more successful.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People by Martin

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