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New Management Training Techniques

Eric Girard

Eric Girard

34 minutes

May 26, 2024

New Management Training Techniques
Interview Highlights

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, nearly 20% of new managers are perceived as performing poorly by their subordinates. Moreover, 26% of new managers admit feeling unprepared for their roles, with nearly 60% receiving no formal training.

This lack of readiness affects not only individual managers but also team productivity and morale.

Eric Girard, CEO of Girard Training Solutions and host of the Management Development Unlocked podcast, offers valuable insights into overcoming the hurdles faced by new managers.

Let's delve into some key takeaways from his discussion with us.


Challenges Faced by New Managers

One of the primary challenges encountered by new managers is the mental transition from being an individual contributor to overseeing a team. Many managers struggle to let go of their comfort zone, where they excel as individual contributors.

Eric emphasizes the importance of shifting focus from personal achievements to enabling team success. This transition from "doing the work" to "enabling the team" is pivotal for effective leadership.


Strategies for Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses

To assess their strengths and weaknesses, Eric recommends the DISC assessment, which provides insights into one's personality and work style preferences.

Understanding oneself and recognizing team members' styles can facilitate better communication and collaboration.

For those without access to assessments, Eric emphasizes the significance of empathy and observational skills in understanding team dynamics and adapting one's leadership approach accordingly.


The Role of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in helping managers adapt to new responsibilities and build stronger relationships with their teams.

Eric underscores the importance of empathy and active listening in navigating complex situations and fostering a supportive work environment.

Developing emotional intelligence enables managers to understand their team members' perspectives and address challenges effectively while maintaining mutual respect.


Essential Components of Effective Onboarding

Effective onboarding for new managers involves preloading them with the necessary skills and insights before transitioning into their roles. Providing a realistic job preview helps individuals assess their readiness for managerial responsibilities.

Eric emphasizes the value of building a community of new managers who can learn from each other's experiences and support one another through the transition.


Enhancing Communication Skills

Effective communication is paramount for managers in setting expectations, promoting collaboration, and motivating teams.

Eric suggests honing presentation skills through public speaking courses, emphasizing the importance of structuring messages and understanding the audience's preferences and objectives.

By employing persuasive techniques and clear communication strategies, managers can engage their teams and drive positive outcomes.


Understanding Your Team

Eric suggests that as a new manager, it's crucial to know your team members well.

Suppose you have a team of four people: Diana, Sandra, Bill, and Felicia.

Eric recommends understanding their communication styles, whether they're extroverted or introverted, and how they prefer to receive information. This knowledge helps tailor your communication approach to each individual.


Setting Expectations

When setting expectations for your team, Eric advises structuring your communication clearly and concisely. Start with an introduction, specify what you expect from the team, provide details, and then conclude by summarizing the key points.

Ensure that by the end of the conversation, your team knows what is expected of them, feels confident in meeting those expectations, and is ready to take action.


Managing Former Peers

Transitioning from being a peers to a manager can be challenging. Eric emphasizes the importance of having one-on-one conversations with each former peer. Clarify how the relationship has changed, express your expectations, and ask for their input on how you can work together effectively in the new dynamic.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a natural part of any team dynamic, but it's essential to handle it constructively. Eric suggests normalizing conflict within the team and teaching them how to have healthy disagreements. He advises avoiding words like "always" and "never," being mindful of your tone and body language, and refraining from bringing up past grievances during current conflicts.


Further Learning

Eric recommends reading "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni to understand how to build trust within teams and effectively address conflicts. This book provides valuable insights into fostering a productive and harmonious work environment.


The Conclusion

The journey from an individual contributor to a managerial role is filled with challenges and opportunities for growth. By embracing strategies for self-assessment, developing emotional intelligence, and enhancing communication skills, first-time managers can navigate these challenges more effectively. With the right support and mindset, they can emerge as confident leaders capable of driving organizational success.

Official Transcript

Statistics provided by the Center for Creative Leadership shed light on a pressing issue in the realm of leadership. First time managers who are often seen as the future backbone of any successful business are facing significant challenges. A notable 20% of these new managers are perceived as performing poorly by their subordinates, indicating a lack of leadership skills or preparedness.

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that over a quarter of first-time managers approximately 26% themselves admit to feeling unprepared for their leadership roles. Perhaps most alarming is the revelation that nearly 60% of these new managers never received any formal training upon transitioning into their leadership positions. It is therefore unsurprising that half of all managers in organizations are rated as ineffective. This lack of training and readiness not only affects the individual managers, but also has a ripple effect on the overall productivity and morale of their teams and organizations they serve.

With us today is CEO of Girard Training Solutions, podcast host of Management Development Unlocked, and former Curriculum Manager for Apple's Worldwide Apple Care Training to share strategies that will support first time managers to be more effective.

Eric, welcome to the show.

Eric Girard: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me, Felicia.

Well, I'm excited to get into what we're going to talk about today, because I think it's incredibly relatable for so many people. So if you could tell me, what are the key challenges that managers commonly face when transitioning into a new role? And how can these challenges be effectively managed?

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