There are many skills required of supervisors, team leaders and managers within large organisations. They need to deliver on the expectations of shareholders or government, senior management, their direct reports, as well as customers or clients. These mid-level management positions require this 360-degree view at all times.
Managers rise to this level due to their own career goals and aspirations, which they also focus on progressing for their own fulfillment and the benefit of the organisation. For these reasons middle management positions can be the most valuable yet challenging in an organisation.
Supervisors, team leaders and managers deliver on the objectives of the organisation through the people they manage. They are responsible for giving team members training, guidance, support, encouragement, and affirming and adjusting feedback to improve performance – which all requires skill, patience, time and energy.
Simply being in a management role does not necessarily give managers the skills required to manage their team effectively. While some managers are ‘natural leaders’, others are brought up through the ranks of the business from technical roles. While they may be brilliant in their area of expertise, many find that being a manager requires another set of skills altogether.
Managers need specialised people skills, excellent communication, and a clear management strategy. Most importantly, they need the confidence that they have the right and responsibility to manage their team.
Too often managers are unsure how to manage difficult behaviours, and instead of addressing these, they choose to do nothing, hoping the situation will rectify itself over time. This condones poor performance and can result in frustration for team members who are performing well.
Change and uncertainty in the organisation (due to such things as staff turnover, budget cuts, downsizing, amalgamation or office relocation) puts stress on every member of the team. During this time middle managers must continue to deliver on business KPIs; manage not only how they themselves are impacted by the changes but the effects the changes have on all those that report to them; all while ensuring exceptional levels of service are maintained for customers.
At times these managers are in a position of knowing information but not being able to deliver it to their team, or having to communicate it in a way that will mitigate disruption and distrust. They often bear the brunt of team members’ anxiety and anger about changes to their role.
To ensure the smooth operation of business through such challenging times, and minimize the risk of WHS issues caused by stress, it is essential that team leaders, supervisors and managers obtain outside guidance, support and mentoring through executive coaching.
Executive mentoring assists these leaders to get an outsider’s perspective on what they are experiencing from professionals who are not emotionally connected to the changes taking place. As well as this clarity, executive coaching provides managers with an opportunity to express frustrations, seek advice, and plan strategies and actions to overcome challenges.
Any organisation undergoing adjustments to roles, processes or structure should implement executive coaching for mid-level managers as part of its change management process. Contact Yellow Coaching to find out more.