Mandy , what in your experience is the most common 'skills gap' in the managers you work with?
Probably the ability to prioritise effectively. Managers tend to see everything as being both urgent and important and commonly try to do it all! In the process of juggling all those tasks and fine details, they then put off developing their people's skills, so they can't delegate anything......which means they put off developing people's skills....... a never ending cycle!
If you had to pick one, what would be your favourite management tool?
Stephen Covey's "Circle of Control and Influence". It's often the first thing I need to use with a group of managers to help them focus on the things that they can actiually do something about, rather than using up mental energy trying to affect the things they can't impact on.
When it comes to designing a management development programme what are the top 3 things to be considered?
- Involving ALL key stakeholders (not just HR) and getting senior sponsorship is critical. Without this, training effects can be limited to individual efforts and momentum is lost.
- Aligning the goals of the training carefully to the wider needs of the business.
- Keeping the group engaged, with meaningful and well thought out exercises that are relevant to their work.
What advice would you give to new managers?
Ask for help and support if you need it and delegate upwards. Focus on stepping away from the tasks and see the bigger picture so that you don't spend all your time doing "the job" but spend time the getting the job done through others.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The opportunity to improve lives. We spend a lot of time and energy on our work and I love helping people to find satisfaction in what they do and grow as a person. I also love seeing so many different cultures and environments and being able to share beat practice from one place to another.
What do you think is the 'new' hot topic in mangement development?
Resilience without a doubt. Conditions are tough and "do more with less" and change are constant pressures. This is creating a stressed and burnt out workforce, so we need to teach people how to take care of themselves and others in these conditions, in order for businesses and the people in them to thrive.
What has been the funniest/strangest thing to have happened during one of your training sessions?
I once ran a workshop for 90 people in India and had to wear a mic to do it. It was the first time I'd ever worn one and quickly learned about the pitfalls when one of the delegates kindly pointed out that it might be better to turn it off when I go to the loo!
Thank you to Mandy for your time and thoughts!
Over the last 20 years Mandy has had significant experience in both L&D and business leadership. She spent 10 years in a senior role as MD of a UK wide group of training centres and learned that developing people is the single most important ingredient for sustained success. 9 years ago she became a professional full-time coach and facilitator to help others in achieving success. She passionately believes that engaging people in their work-life unlocks potential and transforms performance.