There is this hurdle that managers face when wanting to grow their career and it’s this little thing called training and development. I’ve been part of many conversations with task orientated operators who are exceptional trainers, however their lack of people development skills have resulted in being passed over for a promotion.
In these conversations they are frustrated. They train people well do do the task – they have teams of highly efficient people. As leaders of people they can reasonably teach or show someone else how to do the job they do however they struggle when it comes to developing their team.
The first thing you learn when you become a nee supervisor is how to train someone else. You might not really know how to train someone, but we can all recall a memory of being told by our boss to “train” someone. It is often linear, clear and easily defined. The training is specific and goal orientated.
Developing people comes from within you, from a place of curiosity. Developing someone is about walking right into the unknown. It’s about a conversation, possibility and connection. It is a far more difficult skill which is what makes it so desirable. The bestsellers people developers are able to sit with individuals to help them understand their skill gaps and then support them to imagine the future and chart the course.
For example, let’s say I am a manager of a bar and I have newly promoted a weekend evening supervisor.
I am training my supervisor on the job. I am ensuring they know the reports, cash handling, menus, suppliers, customer service expectations, new menu items. I am teaching skills in upselling and managing the team.
- Training – task focused and specific.
Training ensures the business and the individual are successful now.
If I wanted to take it up a notch and develop my new supervisor I would take some time out to understand their experience. I would ask them what is working well, what they feel they need to work on and what they would like to do next. I would ask them for their thoughts and ideas. I would learn how this role fits into their larger plan, maybe they want to go back to university and study marketing- could you have them support your marketing initiatives. Maybe they want to be a bar manager – great! You can start to set some goals to be able to do that.
- Development – future focused and exploring possibilities.
Development ensures the business is sustainable long term through exploring the future and bringing people on the journey.
When I meet managers, who have a fixed mindset that is an indicator that they don’t have capability to develop others to their full potential. Comments like “what’s the point”, “I am who I am”, “I’m not going to change” are red flags about development. They could make good trainers in task – but they aren’t developing people for the future.
The best thing you can do for your career and personal sense of value is be part of connecting people to their future. Be a good trainer and skills and an even better developer of possibilities.