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Leadership Training Session on Managing People and Yourself—Scenario to Consider

Last week I started a conversation around a training program I regularly facilitate titled “Managing People and Yourself”. At Pathways Training and eLearning,, we offer a full suite of leadership training programs through a variety of training opportunities including in class training, one on one coaching and mentoring, video blogs and of course through interactive eLearning training. This course in particular is intended for senior leaders and managers within an organization and focuses on not just managing a team, but managing yourself as well.

As I mentioned previously the training session includes some lively debate as the Managers discuss best practices for managing their people. The topic that is the focus of this discussion surrounds how best to manage an employee who regularly demonstrates poor behaviors, while still excelling at what are considered, the key objectives of their role. For example, a sales person who consistently exceeds all targets, however is otherwise difficult to deal with internally, and/or continues to cause friction within your team.

When this topic comes up in class I usually let the students go with it for several minutes, as invariably there will be a few Managers who will pound their fists on a desk and say that all employees need to follow the rules, regardless of their standing or “value”, and on the other side of the fence there will be a few managers who will shrug and tell me that they would love to have a team where everyone behaves themselves, but that is not a top priority. Selling their product is. And there it is. One of the most honest things you will hear a manager say, while at the same time, one of the most unfortunate.

Just about every organization I have worked with will have a unique set of goals they aspire to, a different vision, different mission statements for their teams and business units. However, one thing remains consistent, and that is each and everyone one of these businesses and organizations will openly promote the fact that achieving excellence in the area of customer service is a top, if not THE top, priority. Really?

Ask yourself this question. If doing everything you can to provide excellent customer service is a priority, then should it be difficult to manage an employee who does not meet this critical expectation?

In class, when the discussion has come to this point the students are usually a bit more subdued as they contemplate the question. Before they can answer, I will ask them a few follow-up questions…and that is “What are your organizations top priorities?, “what is their Vision? And also, how is success measured? The reason for asking these questions is simple, and that is…if you want to be an effective manager, make darn sure you understand what is most important to the people signing your cheque.

Next week I will continue this discussion, focusing on how an organization’s priorities can impact how we manage our employees and how training can assist with this.

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