This is Part One of a series of articles.
Training a new team of managers can be a daunting task. Get it right and you set your organization up for success for years to come. Do it incorrectly and you have burdened your company with extra costs and stress. My goal here is to help offer a view of a training program I am currently undertaking in order that you have a framework to aid you in the future.
I will be sharing parts of the management training program we go through over the next few weeks.
During our first session, I outlined what I wanted to accomplish. I explained how the course would work, what their responsibilities were and then we discussed what they were looking to accomplish with this training. What did they want to get out of it? I wanted to make sure they were clear. They should not be in the program to prove to me they could be a manager, they needed to be there for themselves.
Point 1: One of the first steps a manager takes is understanding that you must always have a goal or objective in mind for all that you do.
As an actor, I was constantly asked by directors and teachers what I wanted out of a scene, what was my objective. This question was to make sure I was focused on being active in the scene versus passive. Each of us at any given time is always looking to achieve an objective. We want to get this information or we want to educate this client on our product etc.
Once you have your objective then the next step is to discover what you have to DO to accomplish this. I have to prepare my outline, I have to hit these points first, I have to listen to their response etc. Then we can execute our steps, monitor the interaction and change tactics as needed to accomplish our goal. The key is that by having your objective in mind ahead of time, you control your actions and responses versus being unprepared and passive.
Watch kids, they are the masters of focused attention on accomplishing their objective. They will monitor very quickly if their actions are leading towards success or do they have to change tactics. We as managers need to commit to the objective and have the flexibility to change tactics when needed.
We have all attended poorly run meetings or calls where nothing seems to happen except people endlessly talking and you thought, “I could be doing something else”
Other times you have been engaged where a discussion, client call or meeting seemed focused, quick, easy and things got accomplished
Those meeting or calls did not just happen, they were planned. Remember to always ask yourself:
What do I want to accomplish with this call to a client”?
What do I want to accomplish with this meeting? This interaction?
Question from the team: Does this apply even if it is just a “quick” call where we are not reviewing anything specific?
Answer: Remember that every interaction you have, you are pulling this person away from what they are doing to fulfill their job duties. If your interaction does not have a purpose, it can be perceived as a waste of this person’s time and in turn people will not want to take your call or interact with you.
Just like my director would say, “If you don’t care about what you are doing, neither do I as the audience. We like interacting with people who are engaged and have purpose.”
Next we will focus on the traits of a good manager and a self-evaluation.
Let me know your thoughts.