Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Manage Your Management Effectiveness With Coaching

Managers Do It Better With Coaching! 

Good Managers Make Good Businesses

Good managers. We all want to work for a good manager. We all want to hire a good manager. And yet the statistics tell us that many business owners and front line managers - regard their sales performance as poor. But it's not just in sales performance that managers are failing to perform well.

A recent survey by Australian Institute of Management revealed:


"The survey of almost 2000 people including chief executives, senior executives, middle managers and aspiring managers revealed the scale of underinvestment in middle management skills.

But while their leadership qualities were poor, many middle managers were at least self-aware of this shortcoming, with 63% also saying their own leadership skills were average or below.
However, when it came to communication skills, middle managers thought they had it down pat, when in reality their colleagues disagreed.
More than 50% of their colleagues believed the communication skills of middle managers were subpar."
Quite a condemnation. 

But communication skills are not the only thing lacking in managers core talents. In the same survey, this was also clear...

"According to AIM, survey participants said middle managers in their organisations were falling short in a number of key areas including leadership skills, communication and people management. The last of which is considered the most important job function of middle management."

All of which can leave managers feeling "neglected" as outlined in the survey.

Managers with poor skills of this kind though, can also report to managers and directors who themselves have poor skills in these areas.  Seniority doesn't necessarily mean good management skills either. So where does that leave the manager whose skills need improving? (And all skills can be improved.)

Taking initiative and responsibility for your own skills development is a great sign that you have the makings and potential of an excellence in managing and working on your leadership skills. Those who just sit around complaining about the company not doing anything for you are missing the opportunity. Blame and pushing responsibility for our limitations on to others is a poor approach.

While it would be sensible for companies to devote resources and implement coaching programs for managers the reality is that we want to develop these skills anyway. So taking the steps to invest in our development is a healthy mindset. For those who do show this initiative, the chances are that they may grow out of a company that does not pay sufficient attention to these important aspects of professional development over time. This preparation could mean you are a perfect fit in future to work with companies who do value these skills and recognise overall ability and hire for quality.

Soft Skills important to managers

In managing a team, the culture that you encourage to develop will have big implications in the results that your team can generate. This can be in performance and lead to a measurable dollar figure in benefit, as well as morale, which can be measured in time taken on jobs, absenteeism, mistakes or lack of mistakes, and the health of the working environment.

While managers have a range of duties that it is their responsibilities to achieve positive results in, there can be other areas that are not shown but go to the essence of what makes a manager excellent, and not just 'adequate'.

Understanding the mechanics of how everything works in your area of responsibility is a good start.

A common example... You want to know what it costs to do the work your department provides. When you know your exact costs to provide what you provide, you can then price your services correctly. You can quote effectively, you can avoid the business you win costing you money instead of making your company money.  This may seem like a thing every manager would know. They don't.

Performance management

While many companies have some kind of process for measuring employee performance, these can be formulaic and more a thing to just go through the process, belt someone if they are not showing well and feel reluctant for everyone in the process to go through.  Done well, it can be an ongoing part of your relationship with employees to track their progress, recognise their accomplishments, notice where they are struggling and provide some remedial assistance as it is needed, and encourage the best performance from those who report to you. This is a fabulous opportunity to develop a winning and supportive culture that generates excellent results.

Customers And Suppliers Need Love Too

We can get stuck in our little bubble and forget that the organisation is a co-operative of different departments and each has their value and brings something vital to the organisation overall. There is no admin section without sales. There are not sales without marketing. There is nothing to market without production. Each part of the business needs all parts of the business to function well. Just as you can create an unhealthy work environment for employees, or one that cultivates wellness, willingness to go the extra mile, and excellence, so too it is with customers, and those other businesses we rely on to support our own.

Why do we do it this way?

Look at any workplace and there will be things that get done a certain way that nobody knows why it is done that way,  just that it happens to be how it gets done. Many workplaces put people into a job without a real job description and no properly documented (or well thought out) procedure to follow. In these cases, people come into the job, fumble their way through and develop a way to do something that may be good or may not. but it works, no matter how ugly it might be. They leave, someone else comes in and keep doing it the same way and several generations later this thing for no good reason is still getting done the same way. Which may be why some businesses are still using faxes!

A good manager will ensure that all the processes that are carried out in the business are done the best way they can to deliver the purpose intended. That might be to keep some jobs the way they are because it works well and  it might be to review and test things  to make sure that that the purpose now is being served, and there are no unnecessary or time consuming tasks being done a poor way that could be done more effectively and in less time by using a new method.

Self promoting 

Sometimes the employees can be our best advocates. When the culture is good and the values are admirable then we love to tell others about the pride we feel in our employer. Of course the converse is also true. We can't force people to promote the business, but if you create the right culture, it will happen. We attract like minded people to what we create.  New customers, new hires, new opportunities can come from the networks of the people who work with us and help us achieve. Keep this in mind as you are managing because this little understood effect can have big results and feed back into the good culture and you the good manager.

Empowering others is a blessing that a good manager can bestow.

Empowering ourselves in the first instance, is part of learning new skills and accepting responsibility to be the best whatever-we-aspire-to-be that we can, and taking action to make it happen.

Related:

Quick and dirty business review
Step up in your business and manage better
Control quality in your business




Like to discuss coaching?
Call Lindy on 0403 365 855
 Lindy Asimus Business Coaching
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