Management & Leadership
The Importance of Management Engagement for Leadership Development
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Management Engagement on the Leadership Journey
Hi I'm Bob Huebner, a senior trainer and consultant for Corporate Education Group with more than 20 years of experience as a training and professional development professional.
There is no doubt that a manager plays a crucial role in the leadership development journey of every employee. In order for someone to build the knowledge and skill needed to evolve into a strong leader, a manager needs to be involved and engaged in the development process. A manager's guidance, support, feedback and mentorship can truly make or break the successful transformation of one of their subordinates.
There are number of ways that you can aid employees in absorbing and effectively applying the skills they learn in the classroom. First, the manager must be a coach and mentor. Think about what support you can offer before, during and after the class or workshop that will help them balance their current responsibilities and class work. Then, during the journey, take the following actions:
- Before the class, sit down with your team and help them self-assess. Review the agenda, the scope and what they (and you) can expect them to learn. Start creating an action plan that uses real-world challenges or projects on which participant can then apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom. Also discuss how you, as their manager, can support them during the learning process.
- During the class, help employees to delegate work if necessary. Map out what support they might need from you to make taking the class and maintaining their job responsibilities possible.
- After the class, discuss what was learned and how those skills can be applied to day-to-day projects. Consider how this newly found knowledge can improve current systems and potentially increase productivity. During this process, it is most important to help ensure that the learning is sustainable and not just in one ear, out the other.
In addition, the manager must play the role of re-enforcer. This will help build accountability for results by helping participants apply what they have learned and the changes they agree to make as a result. Being an engaged manager will not only help make the leadership development process, and the resulting transitions, easier for individual employees, but also for the entire team. And it ensures you and the business see some real "return" on the investment in time and money you have made in the professional development of your employees.