Thursday, January 28, 2010
There is no nice way to put this...
Lots of managers are terrible at being managers.
Some are manipulative, some are glory-hogs taking credit for staff accomplishments, some hide behind rules instead of taking the lead, some are know-it-all's, and some are control freaks who micromanage employees to death.
If you're in the HR department, you know I'm telling the truth. You see it, hear about, and all too often, try to clean up the messes bad management leaves behind. So what is HR doing about it?
Are you training your managers? Odds are, the answer is no.
Somewhere, somehow, we got the idea that training was for the rank and file. Managers occupied a glorified, exempt realm where they were free from all training needs except for the odd time-management seminar or maybe an intro to the newest corporate initiative to reorganize the rank and file.
And that's sad. Because the right training at the right time could transform those rule-huggers and glory hogs into leaders. A properly designed workshop could teach managers why their success depends upon letting their staff do what they do best without the pressure of micro-management. Good management training can introduce an emotionally-distant manager to the idea of collaborative success through listening, engagement and participation.
No, it is not a cure all. Some managers are just wrong for the job, and will spend the rest of their tenure exemplifying the Peter Principle, as they continue at their level of incompetence.
But with training, the majority of bad managers can become, at the very least, less bad. Lots can become pretty good. And a few, with the right tools and training, will become leaders.