It is March and although it is cold the sunshine is stunning, and the daffodils and crocus are popping up everywhere. I am childishly excited that there are snowdrops in my garden. I have been here sixteen years, planted hundreds of bulbs but this is the first time they have deigned to come and stay. In my head I am doing cartwheels!
So, what am I thinking about?
From every direction examples of development and nurturing are coming into my life.
A friend is having her second baby and we have been talking a fair bit about how you talk to the baby girl who is developing within you and helping them to understand how much loved they are and excitedly awaited even when they are keeping you awake in the middle of the night kicking. Mum is already bonded to the baby and helping her to have the best of starts.
Then I have some teenager friends enjoying their school life (even though exams are on the horizon) and especially the extracurricular music and its concerts, the drama and the modern version of Red Riding Hood – which she has just triumphed in. In both cases a year ago they would never have dreamt of these performances. Specialist teachers have seen ability. Given them confidence, rehearsed them and been with them through noteworthy performances. There are other youngsters I know who so busy playing and enjoying sport I wonder how any schoolwork is done. This is a little different as the sports teachers and coaches are giving them tasters to see what they like, how good their hand/eye co-ordination is and how fast they are, tall they are whether they have slow-twitch or fast-twitch muscle fibres. Eventually all these data will lead them to the sport which should be most satisfying and successful for them.
All this is my world and I love it.
I love meeting people who have been helped to see what the right path for them and the possible arena where they will thrive. I love the more targeted degree courses that nurture the interest and talents of the person. Then at some stage there is usually an “however…” However well-chosen the career, talented people make progress and come to the point of managing others. Organisations are not as cautious as they once were. They often take huge risks in promoting someone to a management role straight off “the Tools”. They drop them from a great height into managing that hugely unknown quantity: a pond that might be full of gentle otters or hopping frogs or in some parts of the world man eating crocodiles. Worse still one of these ponds has more than one type of inhabitant. The single species and the combinations need to be managed in different ways if they are to survive and thrive.
Now those of you who know about John Adair’s work on the three circles theory know just how easy this is in theory and how difficult in practice.
And this is only one aspect of managing. A good manager needs to be able to do this and:
- Focus on the overall aim.
- Put together an effective team with the right skills and the personal working preferences that deliver results.
- Motivate each individual.
- Develop each individual.
- Agree appropriate measurable targets.
- Assess progress on those targets.
AND LOTS MORE.
AND DO IT ALL AT THE SAME TIME
It means the manager must have the technical, personal and management skills to do this key job and the confidence to carry it through.
Now this is where I come in. I approach it from two directions.
Most of you know me as a mentor. Business owners come to me regularly often as an accountability partner and to help them stay on track. We work together on the tricky bits.
However I also work with individuals who either come of their own volition or because their bosses know they need to understand some of the management theory and how to apply it with their teams in their situations. I deliver focused learning sessions that are designed for the person and delivered on a one to one basis.
And of course, both methods work. People develop their confidence and their teams and team members; targets are achieved, and employee engagement and retention are both improved.
If this is you. If you want to develop your own skills or those of your team members then let’s talk about focused learning sessions that maximise your learning in individually designed sessions. Or if you want mentoring; a supporter to help you unpick the challenges and craft a plan to come through them effectively, why not give me a call. We can talk about your business and what you want from it and your life. I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help them explore possibilities and whether/how to take them forward. I hope you will be one of them.