New managers typically understand that there is a lot they need to learn on the job.
While they can be experts in their given fields, the art of leading other people is not innate to many, and new skills are essential to take on to be an effective manager.
However, not many experienced managers feel that they should continue to learn and develop their leadership skills.
That is unfortunate because not only do new theories and methods on management develop over time, but many managers simply forget what they learned in the beginning, and can benefit from refreshers.
Here are some skills to focus on when training experienced managers:
Difference Between Management and Leadership
When training experienced managers, one of the most important skills to focus on is leadership, and how that is different from simple management.
Managing employees involves concentrating on tasks, while leading them concentrates on the people themselves.
Managers hire new candidates, give out assignments, make sure they are done correctly and discipline employees.
Leaders focus on developing their staff’s talents while also meeting the organisation’s main goals.
They make decisions with their teams as opposed to for them.
Leadership is more of a team-oriented experience rather than a dictatorship.
Seasoned managers are often so focused on getting the job done that they get very comfortable giving out directions and expecting simple yes/no answers.
However, this type of management leads to poorer results than actually communicating with your employees.
A great skill to teach experienced managers is active listening, which requires them to slow down, ask questions and stop multitasking long enough to listen to their staff.
When this occurs, bosses are surprised by how much a few minutes of listening can actually help the team.
What they often forget to realise is that their team members are experts in their own rights with important things to say that can lead to innovation and positive change.
New managers need to focus on being direct and gain the respect of their employees, while experienced managers can benefit from learning more advanced skills, such as persuasive communication.
Instead of telling your staff that they must do something and make them feel inferior to you, try persuading them to see things your way, which will include them in the decision making process.
To be persuasive, you should focus on the benefits that your employees will get from doing things a certain way.
For example, they can cut down on their work time by learning a new system.
Providing context and being open to discussing certain pitfalls is also important to be persuasive rather than dictate what needs to be done!
Senior Management Trainer and Consultant
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.