<i>Dear Workforce</i> What Is the Most Effective Way to Develop People Skills in Managers

September 14, 2010
Dear Shortsighted:
Changing the behavior of managers is possible, but it's not easy and it takes time. Start by establishing a leadership-behavior model that has unequivocal support from executive management. Incorporate this model into a 360-degree performance management system and evaluate managers at least four times a year. Tie promotions and pay to those evaluations. However, this is only the beginning. In and of itself, it will change things very little.
Your next step: Create a comprehensive leadership development course that is heavy on self-assessment and experiential learning that focuses on personal beliefs, attitudes, personal effectiveness and change that is consistent with the new leadership behavior model. Think of this as an assessment center with observers, coaches, self-reflection, practical application, feedback and mentoring. Remember that this is not a quick fix: To change behaviors, you first need to change people's attitudes toward managing. And that does not happen in a day or even a week. In fact, in instances when I led these kinds of interventions, leadership training consisted of more than 120 hours of intense personal work on the part of managers.
Finally, there has to be a system in place to acknowledge and reward progress and to remediate (and even discharge) those who don't make progress. Your managers either need to get onboard or get in another boat.
SOURCE: Alan Landers, FirstStep Talent Management, Chula Vista, California, July 8, 2010
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The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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