Managing People Is Performance Art… So Why Doesn’t Training for Managers Reflect That?

Quick food for thought today - we all think our managers struggle.  Most HR leaders understand we're not doing enough to prepare our managers for success in the role.

The conventional wisdom is to promote the best widget-maker into the widget-maker manager role.  Because she's got the knowledge, skills and abilities to command the respect of the people she manages in the same function.

Because she surely won't command their respect through her skill in managing people.

So what do you look for in a training/development track designed for managers of people to address this?  I think the right managerial skills training package includes the following things:

1. It provides simple tools for a manager to maximize their performance in 8-10 conversations that really matter.  These are specific conversations, not broad platforms.

2. It acknowledges that managing people is performance art.  When it is time to talk, you've got to perform as a manager.  You're an actor. 

3. The simplicity of the tool set should ease a manager's fear at confronting things that need to be confronted.

4. The tools should position the manager as a coach, not an authority over the employee being managed.

5. The package has an on-demand element that eliminates the biggest problem with any type of training - that it's an event in time and it's usually weeks if not months before the manager uses the skill.  An on-demand element eases this issue by providing easy follow up tools - hopefully through the use of video - that give the manager a quick refresh on how to perform in the situation in question.

That's my wish list.  I don't think it really exists.  If I'm wrong, hit me in the comments and tell me where to find it.

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