Managers and owners, I’ve got a question for you:
Is your management style contributing to your growth and quota attainment, or is it holding your company back?
Go ahead and think about it, I’ll wait…
Ok. That’s about enough of that. Do you think you are moving the team forward or holding them back?
Let’s take a look:
I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how the Staffing Industry has changed (Here!) and I talked about it again on the Podcast (HERE!). In both places the focus was on how customer interaction has changed and what we need to do in order to thrive.
Here’s the thing, the way to effectively MANAGE has changed as well. Gone are the days when a manager can have a monthly (or even weekly) meeting with a staff member and go over their metrics, check their progress to quota, and send them on their way with a pat on the head or a kick in the pants.
Not only do sales and recruiting professionals (or any other professionals for that matter!) no longer respond to those heavy-handed tactics, but the use of metrics (I’m a HUGE advocate of tracking anything that can be tracked) as either a carrot -pat on the head- or a stick -kick in the pants- no longer works to move a team forward. At best they don’t do anything, at worst they alienate and dis-engage your team.
So what DOES work?
Hey, thanks for asking!
The key to effective management is to coach your team toward’s tomorrow. Instead of focusing on your team’s success or failure at reaching yesterday and today’s goal, you need to be looking at tomorrow. Yes, we need to talk about how last week’s or last month’s plan was executed. But that conversation should be brief (no more than the first few minutes of a coaching meeting) and it should be used to set up the conversation for next week’s plan.
The manager that focuses on tomorrow and preparing their team for tomorrow’s calls, meetings, interviews, and negotiations is focusing on what they can INFLUENCE. The manager that is focused on how well their team did or didn’t achieve last week’s goal can only praise or punish them for past events. They can not INFLUENCE them.
Which would you rather be?
Which manager or owner has more control over their own destiny?
Which is MANAGING and which is LEADING?
For my money, I’ll take the option that allows me to exert influence over the one that only allows me to reflect on yesterday all day, everyday.
This is an easy one! The following tips are what I have seen the best of the best firms in our industry do to ensure highly engaged, well-managed teams that are focused on tomorrow (instead of mired in yesterday):
- Have weekly 1-on-1 meetings with your team members.
- Think “Coach” not “Manager.”
- Think “Tomorrow” not “Yesterday.”
- Think “Direct SUPPORT” instead of “Direct Report.”
- Spend the first 5-10 minutes of the meeting reviewing last week’s plan and seeing how well it was executed.
- Find out what your direct SUPPORT has planned for next week (important calls, client visits, interviews, etc.) and ask her about them.
- Determine how well prepared she is for each. If lacking, make recommendations on how to be better prepared (Check out this episode of the Podcast (HERE!), I deal with this topic in detail!)
- Establish a plan and activity goals that you BOTH agree on and buy into (if she doesn’t believe she can accomplish the goal her commitment is for your benefit and she is unlikely to achieve it.)
- Make the time during the week to check in with your direct support to ensure she is fully prepared for the events you discussed, and do this with enough time to provide guidance if she is not.
As you implement this strategy remember that change is a process, not an event. It is going to take time for both of you to become accustomed to this shift in management strategy and you will both make mistakes. But, by focusing on the upcoming week, instead of the past one, you will be able to help your team to achieve their goals and (as importantly!) they will see you doing that.
In other words, you will be developing your talent and supporting their growth and that’s why you became a manager, isn’t it?
As always, thank you for stopping by.
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