If you are looking to get better outcomes as a supervisor or manager, do you want to find a company that delivers training classes or focuses on delivering development programs?
Let me explain the difference.
I once worked for a company that had locations across the country. There was one region that was continually below budget in revenue and over in expenses. This is not a recipe for business success.
A task force was put together to get the core performance issues. Several things were identified, including the effectiveness of the first line supervisors. My training and development team was given the task of creating five training modules and delivering the training directly to all location supervisors.
So we did. The training sessions were interactive, specific and relevant to their workplace challenges – all the things you want to have in a ‘training’ session.
When we left the training event, it was the supervisors’ responsibility to take what they learned and apply it with the intention of better controlling expenses and growing revenue through influencing their staff to greater performance.
Here’s where we get to the difference between training and development.
For those supervisors that were left to their own to implement the new methods, their results did not change. For the supervisors whose managers follow-ed up to work through how and when to apply the methods learned in the training sessions, their results improved.
There is a difference between training and development. Training expands awareness. It teaches processes and steps. Training show you how or what to do.
Development provides the same training, but then has the follow-up component to support you in the implementation of what you learned. The support includes keeping the training concepts top of mind, supporting you in the application and giving feedback and redirection as needed.
Results Development is your source for staff and leadership development. Our development system includes both the means (high impact training) and the end (support for implementation and redirection) to your improved results.
If you are looking to improve your experience and outcomes, it makes a lot of sense for you to set yourself up for success and check out our program schedule.Read More
They say actions speak louder than words. I’ve been thinking about that when it comes to the supervisor training programs we offer. I always want you to walk away with practical tools and the inspiration to use them when you attend our supervisor training programs.
So I asked myself, how can I show you through actions some of the most important aspects to being a high impact supervisor?
Over 20 years in the trenches of leading teams, there are many ‘stand out’ moments I’ve had that made huge differences in my professional life. In the next several blog posts, I’ll share these with you and highlight the deep learnings I’ve had as a result of these experiences.
Here’s the first one.
This happened 19 years ago. Talk about how brief moments in time can make lasting impressions!
At the time, I was the Compensation and Benefits Manager for an international service business. We had an all hands support staff meeting (about 120 folks) gathered to announce some company changes and give business updates. On this particular day, our COO talked about the service we provided to field employees.
She called on our Payroll Manager and asked him how his job provided service to the field and ultimately to our paying customers. He answered with what you would normally think … to provide accurate paychecks, on time. She looked at him and said, ‘No Norm, the service you provide to the field is to give them peace of mind that the money they’ve earned will be there when they expect it so they can pay their rent and put food on the table. The service you provide is giving our employees the ability to focus on their clients and not have to spend time at work talking with your department because their paycheck is wrong.’
When she said that, the feel of the room changed. People got quiet and you could tell most folks were stopped in their tracks. For me, it shifted how I thought about the time I spent. It also made me think differently about the decisions I made. With the shift in thinking, I was more aligned to make decisions with the big picture in mind versus the small idea of what I had fallen into thinking about my job.
How many times do we get caught up in the details and minutia of our jobs and forget the big picture of why we do what we do? As a supervisor, one of the greatest gifts you can give your employees is the deep awareness and remembering of the value they bring and how their job affects the lives of others.
What’s the big picture of your role as supervisor? As a supervisor, you hold in your hand the ability to build-up or crush the self-confidence of each of your team by your interactions and conversations. You hold the ability to believe in them like others have not. You teach them through your actions in the small moments when you are not even aware. You model the way to what appropriate behavior looks like in your department. You set the tone and expectation of what performance should look like.
With this perspective, is there anything you want to do differently?
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First line supervisors have the most impact the development of their employees. While employee training programs provide ideas and tactics that have worked for others, taking action on those ideas or tactics happens away from the training class. This is where the supervisor steps in. Supervisors with strong skills in coaching take the value of employee training classes and make them real by supporting new actions and behavior in their staff.
Coaching as a supervisory skill is a matter of getting to the heart of what limits or blocks performance. There are two possible issues that block employee performance. A supervisor coach accurately discerns where the issue is and takes actions to development the employee accordingly.
The first potential block to performance is lack of skill. Skill deficiencies can either be technical or qualitative. Technical skills often include being proficient in the implementation of common or standard procedures; as well as include a broad knowledge base of the area as well. Examples of technical skills include proficiency in accounts receivable processing, visual marketing, customer service, travel arrangements, etc..
Qualitative skills have less specific role focus and are less process oriented. Examples of qualitative skills include resilience, trust and relationship building and influencing. Employee development in these areas impacts the relative effectiveness of being part of a team, taking right action and getting results with the support of others.
The second potential block or limitation to performance is when your staff knows the steps or actions to take and chooses not to because they don’t think they can or should. Beliefs about an action or interaction can affect both what gets done as well as its quality of performance.
An effective supervisor coach asks the right questions to get to the core of an issue. If you are a supervisor coach and want to identify the best course of action for employee performance issues, here’s a list of questions you might consider.
To determine if training on a technical skill is appropriate:
Ask your employee to walk you through the steps to complete a task, or ask him/her to write out the procedure to document your processes. This can show you what a person would do or knows about the task to be completed.
To determine if the block is based on a belief, ask questions like ‘what do you think about doing this’; or ‘how do you feel about doing this?’. Do you think this is the right thing or the best thing to do?’; or ‘do you think you should do this?’ or do you think you can do this?’.
To determine if it is qualitative skill issue, you can ask questions like ‘tell me what you would do to build trust or build a certain relationship’. If you think it is a resilience issue, you could ask ‘tell me about a time when you had a big set-back, what did you do?’.
Supervisor coaches improve the performance of their teams by clearly understanding what is getting in the way of their staff get reach their potential.
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Through life you have probably heard of the phrase ‘cause and effect’. Conventional wisdom tells us that there are certainties around actions and consequences. If you do this, there is a high probability that outcome will occur. In the scope of supervisor skills, if you take this action, it is likely to create that result.
When most people look to get different results, they look to change their action. It follows the line of cause and effect. If I take this different action, I should get this different result. That is why a lot of people look to supervisor courses to learn a new supervisory skill. What most folks don’t know is why they take their normal action in the first place. If you understand this, it allows for behavior change and skills enhancement to happen faster.
The reason we do what we do is based on two principals. The first principal is we do what we know to do. If you are looking to enhance your supervisor skills, taking a supervisor course will work best for you if you have not yet been shown or experienced what actions to take that create the outcome or results you are looking for. This principal speaks to the ‘what to do’.
The second principal is we do what is comfortable for us given how we think and feel about a situation. Here, our actions are based on how we view the world given our past experiences. In other words, your actions are driven by how you think and feel, or your beliefs and emotions. This principal speaks to ‘how you do it’; how aligned you are to take the actions.
I offer for your consideration that the thing that drives our ‘cause’, or what we do, is our beliefs and feelings about the situation. Put differently, consider the following equation:
Consciousness → Cause → Effect
Webster defines consciousness as:
The thoughts and feelings, collectively, of anindividual or an aggregate of people.
In your role of supervisor, what you think and feel about a situation impacts the actions you will take, and the quality of your actions determine your results. Quality is not about good or bad; rather I judge the quality of your actions by how effective they are in getting you what you want as your outcome. In other words, you might take action learned during a supervisor course, but if your thoughts and feelings about the actions are not aligned, the effectiveness of the action can be compromised.
As I’ve said, most supervisor training focuses on ‘what to do’ differently. I have seen people who have told me the right steps to take to get a result, but either didn’t do it or did it ineffectively. If you take action but are afraid or nervous, how you execute the action will be compromised and will affect your outcome. If you take an action that you don’t think is either right or comfortable, your thoughts and feelings can taint your results.
So what are your options?
If you are looking to improve your supervisor skills, you can take a supervisor course and learn the ‘what to do’, or connect with a supervisor coach to work on getting aligned with your thoughts and feelings in ‘how you do it’.
If you would like to learn more about how to improve your supervisory skills, go to www. ResultsDev.com. There you will find assessments to help identify your growth opportunities, plus access high impact supervisor training.
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