Retraining? I was wrong about this
Before we get on to Retraining, a reminder my Managing Performance Masterclass is on Wednesday 16th February. Who in your management/supervisory team would benefit from support or retraining on how they manage the performance of their team?
When I worked in the corporate world I ran management development workshops nearly every week.
Every now and again I’d see a name on the delegate list that I not only recognised, but I knew full well they’d attended this workshop before.
And it annoyed me.
Because I believed if they’d attended it before and it hadn’t achieved the programme’s objectives, what was the point of retraining them and getting them to attend again. If they hadn’t put into practice what they’d learnt then, the chances were simply either this wasn’t the best way for this person to learn, or they didn’t get the opportunity, support and coaching they needed from their line manager to apply their learning.
But I was wrong about this, or at least partly wrong.
Although there may have been an element of truth in the possibility of a lack of support, or it not have been the best training method for them at the time, what I hadn’t taken into consideration was that, as observed by Heraclitus the Greek philosopher:
“No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
In other words, when a manager came back to attend the same workshop again at a later date, the chances are they had by then got more experience and very likely were in a different situation. Even if their role hadn’t changed the chances were their team had, and they now had different circumstances affecting their team.
Just because someone has been trained in something before, doesn’t mean they don’t ever need that training again, albeit potentially in a different format.
So, if you’ve identified a development need for someone in your team, don’t fall into the same trap I did all those years ago. Listen out for some of these barriers which will prevent people being receptive to any retraining or coaching:
When you hear “I know this already”
- Ask them to take you through what they know and how they apply this.
- Ask what they are implementing and to give some specific examples.
When you hear “I do this already”
- Again, ask for specific recent examples.
- Ask, how well it’s working for them?
- Review any bad habits they’ve picked up or short cuts they are making which is affecting the outcome.
Very often – as with many bad habits – they may not realise they’ve got into these habits until pointed out to them. (see Creating Conscious Incompetence post here) Highlight the impact that’s having and how it affects them personally. Only then are they likely to be receptive to further coaching or training.
Thinking specifically about managing performance, you or your managers may have received training or coaching on managing performance in the past. Review how successful that is right now.
- Are all team members crystal clear on yours/your managers’ expectations?
- Does everyone meet these expectations?
- Are you/your managers proactive and monitor performance before it drops?
- Are any shortfalls picked up and acted upon swiftly?
- Are you/your managers confident in handling any tricky conversations?
- Do team members respect you/your managers when discussing performance.
- If shortfalls are discussed, do team members still come away from those discussions feeling positive and committed to improving.
If you’ve answered no to any of these questions the Managing Performance Masterclass on 16th February could be just the answer to these.
If you only do one thing
Never assume because someone has received coaching or training in a subject that they are able to apply that learning – always look for evidence they can apply it, and ask, if there is anything holding them back in applying this, what that might be.