EXCEPTIONAL MANAGERS CREATE EXCEPTIONAL TEAMS
Are you supporting your managers’ development to position them well for creating exceptional teams?
RiverRhee Consulting has been privileged to work with several very talented, enthusiastic and relatively new managers in recent months. These managers have been keen to develop their skills in various aspects of those three magic circles that were originally described by John Adair, and are still the bedrock of effective team management today: developing the individual, building the team, and managing the task.
Elisabeth Goodman and Janet Burton worked together to deliver our new One Nucleus three-day Introduction to Management course to managers from four Life Sciences organisations. Delegates commented on the value of “Learning from others and a real understanding of what I should be doing”, and “Reflecting on my experiences and seeing how I could have dealt with previous situations”, “Overall an excellent experience”.
Elisabeth also coached two supervisors in a customised version of our new Supervisor Training course and helped another Life Science organisation to define and implement an enhanced performance appraisal process.
In this newsletter we explore some of the emerging themes from our experiences with these managers and organisations.
EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE REVIEW PROCESSES BUILD SUCCESS FOR THE ORGANISATION AND FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
Effective performance review processes are an opportunity to engage individuals in the goals and success of the organisation as a whole. They are also a key vehicle for shaping individual roles and personal development. Unfortunately negative experiences with such processes can lead to a loss of trust, a disinclination to ‘own’ personal performance reviews, and a disproportionate focus on how they will be used for salary or bonus assessments.
Some of the supervisors and managers that we worked with re-discovered the value of performance reviews and how to plan and manage SMART* objectives in a way that would reinstate positive attitudes within their organisations.
[*Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound.]
DIFFICULT PEOPLE ARE NOT NECESSARILY BEING DIFFICULT!
We know that we all have our own perspective on the world, and that this can influence how we communicate with each other, and yet it is easy to forget those differences as soon as someone is perceived as being difficult.
Psychometric tools ranging from Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles, the NLP representational (or communication) styles, Belbin’s team roles and MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) can all help us to get a better understanding of our different perceptions and approaches to life and work.
If, even with the benefit of those insights, we still think that someone is being ‘difficult’ then there are various strategies at our disposal, such as active listening, coaching and assertiveness that could help a manager effectively address that situation.
THE ABILITY TO FLEX THEIR STYLE IS ONE OF A MANAGER’S GREATEST ASSETS
Different individuals within a team will draw on different aspects of a manager’s skills. The team as a whole will require different management styles as it goes through the various stages of team development. The ability of managers to flex their styles to best suit the individual and the situation is a topic that provoked a lot of discussion during our training courses.
The teams that we have been working with recently are all very local, but Elisabeth also facilitated a recent APM (Association for Project Management) East of England event where we explored the challenges and approaches for working with ‘far flung’ teams. We have a project management related course, Effective project planning and management , which we ran for the first time with TFPL in November.
ENCOURAGING TEAM MEMBERS TO COME UP WITH POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS RATHER THAN PROBLEMS
Our third course with One Nucleus – Smart Working for Business Growth and Innovation - combines aspects of Lean and Six Sigma, Knowledge Management and Change Management, and focuses on good business practices such as identifying, analysing and resolving problems as they arise, rather than rewarding firefighting.
We included some of the problem solving techniques in our training for managers and supervisors, and whilst some people were already using the techniques in their organisations, others were keen to explore how they could use them to encourage their staff to come them with potential solutions, rather than just the problems.
NEWS ON OUR PUBLISHING ACTIVITIES AND ON CHANGE MANAGEMENT
We continue to be busy on the publishing front. John Riddell and Elisabeth have now submitted their manuscript for “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry” to Gower. This is approximately one year ahead of schedule so we are waiting to hear what the revised publication date will be.
On the publishing and Change Management themes, Elisabeth’s new book: The Effective Team’s Change Management Workbook is now available under our RiverRhee Publishing label, and is starting to receive some good reviews.
Elisabeth also ran an interactive seminar as part of CILIP’s Prison Libraries Group’s conference at Birmingham’s new library, entitled “Navigating change in an ever-changing world”. In the face of cuts and changes in funding models, staff cuts and other changes, they agreed that the key was to adopt a navigator rather than a victim or stoical survivor mentality, to be clear about their goals (focusing on quality for their customers), and to seek out and address the root causes for wasted time and effort.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE
Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers, enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team. See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.