New Manager Catnip Trap
Updated: Jul 21, 2019
10 Awesome Outcomes When Avoided
Last week I was in a client’s office observing some interactions of several managers that are going to be attending my training program. One new manager is personable and eager to be liked and appreciated by his team.
Oh, man was he eager. I scooted myself over closer to his desk and listened intently as an I watched a steady stream of employees popping in for guidance. On the surface, this is not so bad. At least his team is coming to him, and see him as an expert. His ego is being fed, and that makes him feel very special and powerful. They like him. They really, really like him. He is sucking it up. They are feeding that ego with all this attention. #mangementtraining #leadershipdevelopment
We need you, oh, you’re so smart and important. This is all going through his frontal cortex, and it feels GOOD!.
He is an expert… at his previous job. That’s what got him promoted. Just like millions of managers before him, he did what it took to get promoted. His employees respect his knowledge and what I’m watching here is a disaster in the making. Because he is, a novice at what he is now doing, he is now managing people, and he has had no prior training on how to do that job well.
On the surface, his approach is seemingly helping to make their jobs easier. They love it. His job in the meantime will become harder and harder and more frustrating and tiring and maddening. Classic new manager trap!!!!
Without the proper training in managing people, he would probably be stepping in the trap of being the smartest guy who solves everyone’s problems for a very long time. The pain of this pitfall is, everyone’s challenges become his challenges. They build and grow and fester. He would continue taking these monkeys onto his back until he tires and gets frustrated. You don’t ever know when his saturation point will be reached, but he will reach it.
He is creating the habit for his team to not fix their own problems. Nooooo, let my manager fix it. That way, they have no accountability for the outcome. Sweet! for them. Bad for the manager and the company.
These constant starts and stops for firefighting will probably make him less and less pleasant to approach if you know what I mean. The employees are now dependent on their expertise and are not building any of their own. If the manager is spread too thin, these words will come out of his mouth at some point. “It’s just easier if I just do it myself” “Why don’t they just figure it out?” “Why am I the only one doing all the work around here!” Have you ever said or heard those yourself? Hmmm? This manager might be called a micro-manager because he “Has” to do everything himself.
Get it? Got it. A bad situation that his employer could have created. However, because they are doing the right thing by training him, this probable scenario will be avoided. Unfortunately, this scenario is not followed often enough putting managers into positions that they were just never prepared for. Sure, they can sometimes figure it out. Learning by mistakes and creating costly examples of what not to do. That’s not the most effective approach. #managementskillstraining
Unfortunately, it is one that is often followed when placing a new manager into position. Heck, even hiring one from the outside does not assure an employer that the “experienced” manager really is an effective manager possessing the proper management skill sets and processes.
Here is How to Avoid the Trap
How should this manager be responding to the flow of employees into his door? Instead of just answering their questions or solving their problems, he should be asking. Yes, ASKING, “What do you think you should do?” Or, “How have you handled it in the past?” Most of the time, the employee has an answer. It may not be the perfect answer, but they have most of the solution to the problem in them already. It’s just less risky for them to have the manager give them the solution.
Great managers draw these solutions out of their direct reports and then collaborate to make it a great solution. The best managers may even have another employee join in the discussion. Asking the new invitee, “What do you think would be the best way to handle this?”
The best managers would also ask themselves, “Why did this problem or situation happen in the first place?” Then they would begin a root cause analysis so that it does not occur again. This creates a culture of continuous improvement. They would ask the team, how do we avoid this in the future and then build their solution into the process.
Outcomes of Avoiding the Trap
1. He is managing his workload so he can get his job done on a better timeline.
2. He is training his team to be self-sufficient problem solvers and to take on responsibility for their own challenges.
3. He is displaying trust of his team members which is huge to engagement.
4. He is showing that he values their opinions, and regards them as much more than just an employee.
5. He is building collaboration within his team, which builds a much more efficient and effective level of productivity.
6. He is engaging this employee, and they are much less likely to become disgruntled and quit.
7. He is managing his stress levels and will be a more approachable supervisor.
8. He will go home in a better mood every day so his home life will be better as will his energy.
9. He is developing talent for future internal growth candidates.
10. He is building value with his employer for his own future career growth because now he is becoming an expert at being a manager and a leader.
It’s not just front line managers who are guilty of getting attracted to the catnip of being the fixer of all problems. Many business owners and CEO’s step into this trap as well.
Allen Training Centers provides the functional tools that many managers lack. Let’s face facts. Many, if not most, managers are promoted into position for thier tactical ability. Now that they are a manager, where’s the training to teach them to be a manager? How to manage people? How to communicate, inspire, lead, plan, etc.?
Way too often these key skills are left to chance. Trial and error should not be a developmental approach.
Our 12 month 24 module training gives them all the management and development tools to be High Impact Managers. Preventing the mistakes most untrained managers make.
Management Training creates a huge ROI both financially and emotionally.
Click on this link for the scheudle of our upcoming Results Driven Leadership Workshops
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