Are there some improvements you would like to see in the way things are managed in your company? What management skills are critical for your organization’s success? These and perhaps other related questions must be asked before a strategy is worked out to fulfill a new manager’s coaching needs.
And this brings me to my point that coaching – more than the medium or the narrow view of ‘training’ – is an indispensable instrument in preparing your new managers to respond to the big challenges you’ve set up for them.
You’ve probably realized that the one-time individual “doer” has now transitioned to the role of an “influencer”, who will shape the productivity and success of large teams. Are there good examples and best practices that your new managers can follow to start delivering the goods from Day One? Here’s a list of what I’ve found useful:
- Institute a ‘Buddy’ system: At the point of transitioning into managerial roles, can you get respected senior managers to buddy your new managers to educate and develop them? Make use of the mentors’ experience to create a culture of success, and personalized ‘care’.
- Get them to flock together: Often new managers feel like they’re operating in isolation. Helping new managers to learn from each other and developing an environment of peer support goes a long way in addressing concerns that would otherwise have to wait for formal training to come by.
- Encourage inter-departmental flocking: Getting to know how other departments in the organization function, what they do, their staff, etc. helps build a shared vision and the much-touted big picture.
- Promote experiential learning: Get your managers to feedback to the system of the outcomes of experiential learning, e.g. key learning points from a major screw up, a client save, a major deal. What did the team do or not do to become successful? These need to become inspirational corporate stories that people – new managers or not – would like to know or read about.
This is just a start. With strategic objectives clearly in focus, and the tools to deliver coaching in the classroom, on the Web, or face-to-face, you will only increase the likelihood of success with a team of high-performing managers.
(Rohan Kohli is Senior Consultant, Instructional Design)