All the experts are talking about reinventing this and reorganizing that. Yet, for the rest of us, accepting change day-to-day can be daunting. At least one thing we hear is true: the rate of change is speeding up. The world is flying by, and the only safe prediction is that paradigm shifts and technological revolutions will continue to reach into our lives and shake us by the collar, make us think on our feet, and take us to new, often better ways of doing business.
In this ever changing environment, managing resources has not only become very important, but it has also changed over recent decades.
The main concern is limited resources vs. unlimited needs; this has been the dilemma of people throughout history. Some societies thought that they had found the answer by trying to limit needs and wants, while some other societies promoted needs and wants, motivating people to work harder to satisfy the same. However, questions, such as How to decrease the cost of production? How to increase productivity? and What is the best method for motivating people? remained important through the last century.
These are the very same questions for which the business world is trying to find the answers.
The efficient management of resources is very important. The management of manpower plays a critical role in the satisfactory completion of this task. To maximize the use of all resources one must also maximize the use of human resources.
A New Approach: Coaching vs. Managing.
In recent decades, we have seen a new approach, the use and effectiveness of which has been increasing in management; COACHING. More organizations have become interested in coaching their employees rather than managing them.
Managers manage numbers, goals, objectives and activities for results.
Coaches develop others to reach higher levels of contribution, personal attainment, and success.
Managers ensure there is a place to work, a procedure to follow, and a system for monitoring business.
Coaches, on the other hand, build high-performance teams by focusing on interpersonal relationships with employees and guiding them to achieve their dreams and aspirations. Everything else is trivia that should be delegated to someone else or relegated to after-hours. A leader or coach makes the relationship with their employees the first priority.
Management today recognizes the need to have a winning organization; it must be more knowledgeable and competent in dealing with and developing people.
Traditional management methods, which are organization-centered, although they have served business well and have accomplished a great deal, are now being challenged by the needs of the employees and customers. In dealing with these new challenges, most managers find that they are at the limits of their current skills. A changing business environment requires us to continuously improve our approach to management. Now is certainly the time for a new methodology which incorporates many of the approaches used by successful managers. That is the fundamental change.
The process of evolution is at the base of the need to develop a management competency in dealing with and developing people. The belief that all employees are self- motivated and that the manager's role is simply to direct the activities of their subordinates through intimidation or any other method, assumes a results orientation with little regard for the means. In such a system, the employees generally have little opportunity to provide input to the process, and management becomes a numbers game, with little or no attention being paid to developing skills or people.
Because it is people who make things happen, and because we are dealing with a more enlightened and demanding work force, blind submission to direction is no longer feasible. We all want and expect a clear communication of roles, responsibilities and resources, and we expect to be evaluated as we perform our assigned tasks. We have to understand the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and how we are perceived by the people we are leading. We have to develop a competence and consistency in dealing with the people who are reporting to us. Indeed, we have to develop multiple skills, combining the sensitivity of a leader who is viewed as a capable and involved person with those of a trainer who provides the subordinate with skills enhancement and a defined pay off.
The new approach is employee-oriented rather than organization-oriented.
High Trust Leadership: High trust equals high performance.
Today's younger generation, as well as many of the older generation, are assuming different interests which change the desired expectations and outcomes of their lives. We need to tune into these changes and be aware of the fact that unless we present a work environment that aligns with these expectations, we may not be able to keep our better employees. Without competent players, exemplary results become significantly more difficult to attain.
There is a pervasive and accelerating transition from the long term relationship between the employer and the employee, which represented the norm in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Quality of life, family and independence have become the priorities for the worker in the twenty-first century. Management must be aware of these needs and it has to address the means by which the organization and managers meet them.
Each of us can remember a number of instances when we asked someone to explain or show us how to do something. Whether riding a bike, shooting a basketball or solving a difficult puzzle, there was a moment when we asked for help. Yet, after we asked for help, we were impatient with the helper or coach and wanted to get back to hands-on as rapidly as possible. Your team members are no different. They want to put their spin on the advice or the directions. The easier the manager makes it for team members to set the rules on how and when they are coached, the more likely it is that they will develop the discipline to find the information themselves and make their own decisions. An integral part of coaching is teaching and reinforcing. Whether it is sports or business, winning and losing do not depend on trick plays or new systems. The information your competition has is the same as yours. So what are you going to use to win? It comes down to motivating people to work and to prepare to play as a team. In a word, it is COACHING.
Six Essential Skills;
There are six essential management skills, or personalities, that are needed in order to optimize our efforts to become an effective coach.
1- Relationship builder: Get to know your team well and as individuals. Make sure you understand them, their values, their personal goals, and their objectives.
2- Team builder: In understanding each member of the team it becomes imperative that the manager develops the skills to link and blend these individuals into a coordinated, cooperative, and cohesive team in order to address the common goals and objectives of all.
3- Planner: An effective manager must also be a planner. Your team will look to you for direction, strategies, improvement processes, etc. They will expect guidance in managing their time and activities. It is essential that you have the necessary background, knowledge and skills to define and establish well thought-out road maps and game plans for your team.
4- Interactive Communicator: The essential key to acheiving this skill and the foundation for successful interactions is effective and active listening. Acquiring and sharing know-ledge and information is an integral part of the business world.
5- Organizer: A manager must also be an effective organizer. Organization is essentially preparing a framework for getting the job done properly, effectively, and efficiently.
6- Experience gatherer: Finally managers need to focus on the need to become experience gatherers. Managers must continue to expand their knowledge and their skill base and share that growth with their team members. To be a good manager, you must be a good leader and a great coach first.
The importance of coaching is that the scope of opportunity and success expands significantly as the manager's skill dimensions increase. Therefore, the more effectively the managers incorporate each management dimension into their management process, the more likely it is that they will be able to attain results that are otherwise perceived as unattainable.
- Challenging the process: thinking out of the box.
- Setting the example: Do what you want your team to do, lead by example.
- Recognizing and rewarding value: Look for the right things that team members do and reward them; do not look to catch mistakes.
- Enabling others to succeed and attain goals: Make it the team's own goal that they will accomplish.
- Establishing and sharing your vision: Give the team a road map and future hopes and dreams to catch hold to.
- Maintaining your commitments: Never break a promise and ensure that the goals and objectives are clearly communicated.
The organizations which employ more effective coaches to lead their work force will have the upper hand in the competitive business world, and will be a center for attracting better people. Since everyone likes to be on a winning team, it is critical for organizations which want to maximize their resources, lower their operation costs, reduce their turnover and increase loyalty to build teams to win. I hope to see every organization building their own winning team and getting ahead of the game.