In Part 1 of this blog series, I introduced issues that are universal when training new managers. Our discussion here will center on tools you can use to advance your new managers’ development.
Self-Awareness Is Essential.
Reinforce positive foundations, and repeat what is important. Repetition is an essential component of learning. It takes a confident person not to want a “yes” person.
Relate the metrics you use for projects. Share your criteria for performance reviews or team assignments. Use the Three-Phase Loop: Implement, monitor and adjust. This way, no issue can get too far without an opportunity to correct it. This formula builds confidence because there are check points along the way. It is a clean measure.
That which gets measured gets done.
That which gets done gets rewarded (acknowledged).
That which gets rewarded gets repeated.
Teach new managers to open a space and invite collaborative, innovative thinking and behavior with their teams. Show them how to set the boundaries, review the rules and let them soar. Such a foundation fosters clear communications and clarity of purpose. Keep your word, and don’t move the goal posts that create uncertainty and lack of trust.
Inspire passion rather than fear. You want people not to come to you for everything. Autonomy reduces interruptions!
Whom Will the New Managers Influence?
There is no such thing as control – only mastery. Managers have the ability to influence others. They can make a direct impact on talent retention. That’s why I recommend an emotionally intelligent training model that sets up new managers to drive innovation and encourage individual contribution.
People want to know their work matters. It is important that your training supports their ability to connect with values and offer a contribution. That ability supports individual fulfillment beyond a paycheck and is a key selling indicator in knowledge transfer.
Your approach will differ whether the new person is an internal promotion or comes from outside the company. Either way, it is useful to tune in the new manager to the company’s cultural morés. In the “universe” of your company, show them options for successful outcomes, like how to cut through red tape. Give them your top two “secret sauce recipes” they need to succeed in their new role. Create a positive, engaging experience new managers can model and pass on. Consider activities to create awareness of different learning and behavioral styles – visual, audio and tactile or a combination of them.
Participants learn easily when offered a context. Here are several ways you can provide context during training. Engagement is key to success in all of them.
- Visual models: Venn diagrams are particularly helpful to show areas of overlap. Have learners create infographics to explain a process in their department. These activities encourage creativity and sequential thinking.
- Interactive models: Fun learning sets a positive pace. Video exercises and reading aloud can help new managers boost their influence. For example, most people are unaware of how the sound of their voice impacts others. Tone and word choice can affect credibility.
- Provide a group identity. Use the “class of (year)” label so participants bond, build comeraderie and have a shared-identity experience. They will connect and turn to each other for ongoing support and collaboration much like college classmates.
- Discuss the role of social learning as an outreach to remote team members to add variety in distributing information.
- Ask learners what strategy they will use to archive and conduct knowledge transfer to new units under their leadership.
- Encourage research on topics that affect the new managers and their teams. Have them bring their research to the next training session. Show them how to set their own objectives and goals and how to attach purpose for their department’s benefit.
- Hold a certification ceremony: Mark it as an important occasion. Employees will share positivity when it is given permission to flourish.
You Are the New Manager’s Coach.
Training professionals are the keepers of the secret sauce. Adopt and learn a coaching style for your training; do not be a “teller,” but be a support system. Learn about the person’s behavior style and what is important to them to achieve their goals. Be the advocate, be a navigator and have fun! Inspire the new manager to create a coaching style. (For example, have them research the use of inclusive language.)
Understand the Individuals You Lead.
Reinforce your commitment to supporting the new manager’s achievements to reach the summit together. You must share the map, and leave room for their input to reach the top.
This approach is optimistic and emphasizes value in the new manager’s thoughts. Consider how these recommendations can set the foundation for trust in your leadership and make a positive impact on your company.