I was listening to a client this morning as she described how she planned to manage her new team. She has a number of relatively new managers, people with great technical skill but, typically, little management expertise. As best as I can remember, she put it like this.

“They avoid conversations. They let small things slide and then they grow into bigger things. When they realize they have to take some action, they come in heavy handed with accusations and warnings of discipline. Next thing everyone’s in my office asking me to sort out the mess! I’m not going to do it any more.

I’ve talked to them. I’ve told them that I have given them the tools they need to manage feedback and difficult conversations with their staff. I’ll be there to offer advice and support. I’ll be a sounding board. But I’m not going to do it for them! They have to live with the consequences of their management style. It’s the only way they’ll learn and if it means they end up in the industrial court, so be it! They have to learn to talk to their people, even when it’s difficult.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. Here is a manager who has wisdom, skill and enough patience and perseverance to model the behaviour that she wants and then to hold her team accountable for their results.

I think we forget how well people learn when they are faced with the consequences of their actions and held accountable for the outcomes they create.

Related posts

Leave a Reply