Archive for July 29th, 2012

Now, this may sound a bit harsh. But I mean it. Most managers I meet are great people, some really excellent managers. But even the best make very unnecessary misstakes. One of them i telling.

I tell you how to clean a room (if you work as a cleaner at a hotel)

I tell you how to sell this equipment (as a newly hired salesman)

I tell you about our goals, strategy and means (you are meeting trainees you just hired)

Nothing wrong in this? Of course not! If you’re a manager you probably think this is one of your tasks. And from time to time you need to show this backbone to create stability and trust. But let’s look inside your employees brains…

Do you need people to be creative?

Do you need trustworthy sales people?

Do you need to have more time for that strategic and administrative stuff?

The solution is closer than you think. Most of your staff haven’t even started their brains. Not because they’re lazy, but because REAL BRAINPOWER is so seldomly asked for!

As I stated in the beginning of this post – most managers are doing very well. Many organisations are making decent profit. But – is DECENT enough for you?

What’s that silver bullet that solves everything? Beware – you may not gonna like this, but it’s both simple. And very hard. You need dialog. Turn the task all around. YOU may know how things are done around your place. But what’s the state of the minds of the people you are right now trying to influence, maybe even trying to learn something?

I sometimes look at our learning system as an artificial climbing wall. You know the ones with places intended to give support to your hands and feet providing a reasonably smooth passing to the top. Same things with memory and learning. The stuff you’ve learned may help or stop you from acting. If you let me know about what you’ve learned so far – we can co-learn on the path forward.

What is needed for this?
Trust – If you don’t trust me I will not know what you’ve learned
How? The NO BLAME culture of Lean is a good start!

Listening skills – learning to hear what your employees carry
How? Excercist “perspective shifting”: instead of telling about goals, strategy and means – ask your trainees “What goals  do you think are set for this year?” The answer may not only be interesting – it will provide you with numerous opportunities to return to. And sometimes great insights.

Continuous improvements – showing that we are open for new ways when possible. By asking questions new stuff will surface more and more frequently.
How: see below!

As a consultant, executive coach and trainer I mostly start off in this perspective Why are we here?
What do you expect from this training?
Who will take this development further?
What obstacles for this can you forsee?
What previous management (or other subject) have you attended?
What was good?
What wasn’t that good?
Any advice you’d like to give me?

I learn – too. Make no misstake – I have a lot I could tell them. But, will it work? Most studies show it wouldn’t. Protective filters would stop things from happening. If you don’t believe me – have you ever started something thar is REALLY good for you? Did you manage into making it a habit? If you did – why do you think you managed? If not – why?

Lessons learned? Need more?

Confucius’ words:

Tell me – and I’m getting interested
Show me – and I get a hold of it
Involve me – and I’ll remember for the rest of my life

What do YOU think?

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