In our previous blog, we spoke about the responsibilities of a top-level manager as a coach, guide, and mentor, and also their responsibility to identify and select a suitable middle-level manager.
When we talk about an effective middle-level manager, we are talking about the person in between the top-level management and the rest of the organization. Someone who understands and shares the vision of effective training and development by being a trainer, coach, and mentor themselves. This is what it means to be called a suitable middle-level manager.
But, do all middle-level managers understand their role as a coach? And, do they really understand the difference between coaching and ordering people—is the differentiation clear?
The truth is that today’s modern managers are ill-equipped. For one thing, middle-level managers tend to think they’re coaching team members when actually they are just telling people what to do.
If you’re someone who focuses more on ‘telling your subordinates what to do’ and less on the being a ‘reliable coach,’ let us break it down and make it simple. A good middle-level manager must:
- Possess the ability to communicate with team members
- Set the right expectations and deliverables
- Know the factors inhibiting the performance of multiple teams who work under them
- Devise solutions to improve the performance of multiple teams—either a blanket solution or custom solutions addressing specific team problems
Also, assessing the needs of multiple teams and departments can be difficult. In the managerial chain, middle-level managers are in charge of an entire department consisting of multiple teams.
Hence, assessing everybody’s needs can be tedious. But, it can very easily be made simple by following these simple steps on:
How to be an effective middle-level manager:
Be a coach to your team captains/team managers
At the end of the day, when working with multiple teams or departments, all you need are reliable team captains or team managers. These team captains head their own teams and report to you, and all they really need is for you to be a good coach to them!How? By training them to become effective leaders.
Why? Because 80% of them are at the risk of being ineffective leaders! —a study by Gallup.
And, why are most team managers or team captains ineffective and destined to fail?
- They are trying to mimic being a manager
Surprisingly, many managers think that simply dressing up, talking, and behaving like managers is being a good manager.
- Lack of vision
Ok, so now that they are a manager, what next? Where should they start? To what level should they take their teams? Many times, your newly appointed team leads are clueless. They possess no long-term vision. As middle-level managers, you need to show them the way.
- Caring about their own careers, not the people
How many times have we seen this happening? More often than we can count! Personal progress worries managers. Little does it come to their attention that leading their team members ahead equals to personal progress. Surprised right? The term ‘team coach’ is not just a clichéd jargon—overused and repetitive. It means something, and if you aren’t being one, your teams are as good as headless chickens.
Embrace the concept of training
Show them why training is important. According to a study, the average baboon looks up at the alpha male every 30 seconds, studying their actions. Which is the same at your workplace. If you aren’t embracing training as a means to a corporate problem, your team managers are probably doing the same. After all, if the captain doesn’t say so, it isn’t so, right?
Instead, show them why training is important. Moreover, explain to them the significance of being a manager or a team coach. Let them know that technology is here to help them with training. Also, nobody has to physically conduct training like the old days. Modern training is effortless and efficient, thanks to eLearning and the LMS.
Don’t instruct, coach instead
Don’t instruct. Set the way for your managers, coach them instead. What happens when you simply instruct your managers and not coach them? For one, they simply do the same with their team members. They just instruct, coaching being the last thing they do. If you aren’t setting the right example by training and developing their managerial skills, they are certainly not concerned about improving the sales, operations, or any other skills needed for their team to function, and yet, they are expecting for their own team performance to somehow miraculously improve.
Again, if they are just commanding or ordering their team members, it simply won’t work.
Select the right team captain
As a middle-level manager, you have the ability to select your team captains. Hence, identifying people based on just past performance is not recommended. Rather, look for people with good management skills as well. And, how is this done? Again, if your organization needs a good training and development system in place. Like an LMS with managerial development courses and the ability to track the progress of individuals. You can proceed to screen candidates by running them through this LMS and selecting them based on:
- How seriously they take their own training and development
- Active enrollment and completion of managerial courses
- Performance on key managerial tests
- Decision-making indicators and tests
As middle level-managers, the pressure is on you to get the most out of your teams. The best way to do this is by ensuring you train your team managers and team captains to get the best out of their teams.
Set solid examples for them. Remember, they are watching you. And finally, promote modern training, development, and coaching technologies that make the task of training simpler!
At Abara LMS, we believe in training and development as the key to an organization’s success. Hence, if you’re interested in knowing more about how we can help transform your training and development landscape, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to fill this short form and we will be more than happy to get in touch with you!