Supporting your team to succeed

This is the third in our Management Development Programme Blog series.

Having agreed what a manager’s role is, the focus in the third module shifts to the impact every manager has on their team…

You’re more powerful than you think!

By the nature of the role, managers have a wider impact. The most obvious people on the receiving end are the manager’s immediate team. Yet many people stepping up to management don’t feel ‘powerful’ or influential; especially those in first line supervisory roles.

But consider…. we all remember the best manager we ever had, and the worst (definitely!) We remember things they said, and did, and the results, the consequences. If you’re a manager yourself, you probably use these memories as object lessons in what to do, and not do. As you should.

Yet these remembered managers almost certainly did not realise at the time just how impactful their words, actions and decisions would be.

Your impact as a manager

Your effect on your team comes from four factors:

  • What you say – What words do you use? How do you phrase requests? Or instructions/information?
  • What you do – How do your values inform what you do/decide? What values inform your actions? When talking to your team, how do you come across, what does your body language say?
  • What you prioritise – What is important to you as a manager? Who do you meet with? On what and with whom do you spend your time?
  • What you measure – Another way of framing your priorities, how do you define successful performance? What are you monitoring and measuring?

What about the team?

If a manager’s behaviour impacts the team, how does it affect the team’s development as a unit? After all, team’s aren’t born, they’re made. They go through stages of development, described by Bruce Tuckman: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Some of the defining attributes of each stage of team development are as follows:

  1. Forming – lack of clear purpose, confusion, hesitancy
  2. Storming – working at cross purposes, cliques and infighting, conflict
  3. Norming – working through the issues, more open communication, establishing common goals and values
  4. Performing – shared responsibility, focused effort, openness and tolerance

The question is, what can you as a manager do to guide the team through these stages, supporting where necessary, to the point of competent (and even high) performance? In what ways can you set a clear direction, find areas of common ground, create open communication channels, and focus on achievement without unhelpful conflict. And how can you do this with the team and not to the team?

That’s the key management challenge.

At Maximum Performance, we believe in the value of management development, and the value of the individual manager. The MDP is one of our core programmes and we focus closely on the impact and consequences of the manager role because it’s a powerful role and what you do matters – one way or the other!

For more information on management development, and how we can use it to address your specific organisational and business needs, check out our MDP page or give us a call on 01582 463460. We’re here to help.

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