Google has recently conducted one of the most thorough studies of management behaviour and I’m fascinated by it! They have identified eight qualities within top performing managers and conversely, the opposite behaviours are the acts of what they term a “toxic boss”. Harsh language, but potentially true! One of the qualities it identifies is that top managers are highly rated by employees for their coaching skills, and I am delighted! I have always maintained that coaching skills is within the skill set of the elite manager, it really sorts the wheat from the chaff. However, in my role working with companies to analyse, devise and deliver management development I frequently hear a range of reasons as to why they cannot achieve this measure of superior skill, these reasons essentially boil down to three. Number one is invariably time, in the “we don’t have time for that” vein. Number 2, dare I say is a little controversial, it involves managers not wanting their reports to shine as brightly as they do. Three is simply a lack of know-how. Let’s examine these.
Ok, so time. Yes I admit, to coach someone through a problem rather than simply telling them the actions to take, does take time initially. Longer term, and I mean one to two months later, not years, that is time well spent as your colleague gains confidence, autonomy and ultimately adds value to you and the organisation. Frankly, whats the alternative? You become a toxic boss who strips colleagues of their autonomy, confidence and ultimately nothing happens without your say so. If this is your idea of Utopia then perhaps consider hiring a robot and not a human! People leave jobs because of this, so I suspect not only do you see a high staff attrition rate in your business, your exisiting staff aren’t happy and keep a firm eye on the job sites, whilst you feel a mix of frustration and secret satisfaction that the business relies on you so much. Some honest self reflection is required! Is this because you feel threatened and don’t want people to be as good as you? Well a wise person once told me “recruit people better than you”, and it’s true. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and without wanting to come across too tree hugging, hippie, we are all in this together. Knocking someone down to make yourself fly higher is shortlived and nowhere near the sense of satisfaction gained from seeing someone else improve and develop. If the barrier is know-how and skill set, well that’s easy, I’ve got you covered! Join me for our next management development masterclass on the 9th April. Not only do we look at the theories to support a coaching culture, but the workshop style means you leave well practised and able to put your newly learnt skills straight into action. As you might be able to tell, it’s a topic that I feel passionate about!
The workshops are kept small in number, so that the participants really get the most out of their investment, no more than 8 places are available on the day, for more information please visit;
If you want to take a look at the google report it can be found at https://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/googles-detailed-management-study-reveals-8-signs-youre-a-toxic-boss.html