This month’s Learning Circuits big question is What Would You Do to Support New Managers? I’ve noticed that some create long answers to these questions, but I try to be brief. Of course, I risk people missing the nuances of my reply, but there’s only so much time in a day ;).
I remember a project we did with a client who had just this problem. They’d developed a set of exercises to assist the ‘promoted from the frontline’ managers in switching to the new role of manager. They did a good job of breaking down the tasks into small chunks, and our task was making an online version. NOT, of course, just putting them online, but revising them to achieve the objectives in the new media. Now if only I could remember what those chunks were…
This is a great example, by the way, where there’s an attitude change and major skill set development as well. The attitude change has to be one of moving from being a colleague and perhaps friend to being a respected manager. There’re a whole bunch of associated skills including comprehending business drivers, aligning and measuring performance, inspiring (versus just motivating), coaching, etc.
So what would I do to support them? Let them listen to some folks who were in the situation and learned lessons, have them explore their own views of management and compare to other views, provide them with principles and safe practice, and then scaffold that practice over time while providing them with a community for support. And I’d practice what I preach, inspiring them, coaching their performance, basically modelling the behavior I would want them to adopt.
It’s really the case of how I’d like to be developed as a manager!