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Topic Title: Leadership Training
Topic Summary: What are the points of pain?
Created On: 31 October 2005 09:13 AM
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 31 October 2005 09:13 AM
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I have recently put together a 1 day Leadership workshop "Essential Skills for the 21st Century Manager", and am interested in developing this theme further. (Details at Link Removed )

Whilst my fellow trainer and I have extensive management experience, I am always interested in hearing other peoples perception of what the "points of pain" are in the management sector.

For me, I beleive that so much success today is dependant upon how we relate with others. As we move through the Knowledge Age, (pretty much all information that we require is now available at the few clicks of a mouse), we are now moving into a new age, the age of relationships. Sucess will now be about how people inter-relate, communicate, our effectiveness as leaders and communicators.

So... What are your thoughts, your stories that maybe illustrate these points? I am particularly interested in any stories you have that illustrate how miscommunication, assumptions and misunderstandings can cause not only undesired results, but sometimes havoc in the workplace.

Phil Goddard.
Leadership Trainer & Life Coach
 01 November 2005 12:57 PM
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Aha - Presentations. Oh dear, just the word sends shivers down my spine. All too often I have seen people use the likes of Powerpoint as a prop, to hold them up.

My advise is to think about yoru audience, what do they want, what do you want them to see and hear. Primarily, what is the objective of doing the presentation in the first place. There are, of course, lots of books on this subject.

In our Link Removed we cover many aspects of communication, such as what it is like to effectively be sitting inthe other persons model of the world. I have found that presenting from the perspective of the audience rather than "presenter" has helped immensly.

I also agree with your thought that "Managers need to understand the difference between delegation and abdication." and it links nicely to your next point "They also need to understand when they can trust someone to do a job without breathing down their necks every 5 minutes" which essentially means to sucessfully empower their teams.

Empowerment is perhaps one of the most powerful (excuse the pun) methods in the management toolbox. But few actually understands what it truly means.

Thanks for your thoughts. Anyone else care to comment?

Phil Goddard
Leadership Trainer & Life Coach
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 01 November 2005 01:29 PM
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Some of my biggest bugbears are:

A good manager is not necessarily a good leader, and vice versa! They are two seperate skills to learn!

When things go wrong, the blame from the customer stops with the manager (who sorts it out!) When the customer praises, that gets passed where appropriate!

To delegate and monitor is good, to pass the buck is bad!

People need the right tools to do the job!

People need the right amount of time to do the job, you can make tight deadlines, but its knowing whats tight and whats not achievable!

When things go wrong, not taking to your staff won't make it right!


Barry Kirby BEng (Hons) CEng MIET(MIEE)

"There is no engineering problem that can't be fixed with an appropriate sized hammer"

"At the end of the day.....It gets Dark"

Systems Engineering TPN
 02 November 2005 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by: g3xoi
I would also say that any company that has a complaints - or customer service - department is advetising to the word that it's managers cannot manage and have not got the guts to stand up for their own or their team's mistakes.

I wouldn't agree with this one - in a large company it's important that customers can contact one person/department in the first instance. Yes, they may get passed on to the department involved and yes that manager must ensure that the problem gets resolved, but someone needs to be responsible within the company for working out which department this is. And for simple issues not wasting other peoples time. Over the years in different companies the biggest complaint I've heard from customers is 'we don't know who to talk to'. I would agree that barriers set up by managers between their departments and customer-facing departments are completely unacceptable.

Managers do need to understand that their role does not involve just their department, again on the above point if I get a customer (or an internal) query that is not my department's responsibility I will try as far as possible to suggest contacts elsewhere in the company who may be the right contacts. There are some managers who are very supportive of their own departments but not anyone else. And vice versa!

Also managers need to recognise their limitations. Again taking the customer service issue as a good example, many engineering managers are hopeless at dealing with customers, they need to recognise this, recognise the impact on the customer, and probably both try to improve their people skills and learn who to pass customer issues over to.

Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 07 November 2005 03:08 PM
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Your course is entitled "Essential Skills for the 21st Century Manager" and you astutely point out that one of (if not the) most critical skills will be that of relationship management.
This is true whether internal or external to the enterprise from customer to supplier and from shareholder to colleague. And yet what grants a successful relationship?

This is an area that I and my partners have been working in for many years and developing skills to a workable level of competency takes some time and effort. Why?

How we define people in our thoughts, perceptions and conversations can limit and/or disable our relationships and so first one needs to interrupt people’s existing patterns of how they relate to others. Next you need to help people become free of these limiting patterns (either those they hold of others or indeed that others hold of them) and then develop their skills to develop new enabling relationships. Finally it is beneficial to be able to learn how to catch oneself falling back to disabling/limiting behaviour and to quickly interrupt it and transform into more enabling behaviour. (What may be termed as Mirror, Interrupt, Transform)

Limitations to action occur in 1to1, team and business level and collectively could manifest themselves in ‘culture’ and paradigms. In addition people have relationships with beliefs, situations and rules etc and so relationships are not limited merely between people. All of these relationships can be enabling or disabling.

While the above is an extremely potted summary of relationship development I think it is fair to say that in the 21st century the business that is skilled in building enabling and expanding relationships is the one that is likely to be most successful.
 07 November 2005 07:31 PM
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Wow - thanks for all your comments.

Firstly, I think there is a definite distinction between a leader and a manager. In my view, a leader defines the way to go, and a manager will deal with the logictics of getting there. Stephen R Covey gives a good example where a manager heads up a group of troups that are ploughing and hacking their way through a jungle. At some point the leader climbs a tree and shouts "Wrong Jungle". Good leadership will obviously avoid this scenario, and therein lies the debate - "What makes an effective leader?", and furthermore, it is my view that we all in fact need to be leaders in our own right.

The workshops I am running do not really touch much on what I would call the technical skills to be an effecive manager, such as the running of a technical or customer services department, I think there is already a plethora of course material available for that sort of thing.

I can whole heartely agree with you, bobg, in that an effective leader, and indeed an effective manager must be able to develop and establish sucessful relationships. And I think most of what we cover applies to so many aspects of our lives, eitehr communicating with others or indeed ourselves. Our ability to establish a compelling vision of the future, either personally or within a group, provides mogivation for action. Our ability to communicate what that compelling vision is, either to our managers, peers, subordinates or ourselves, will determine how sucessful we will be at achieving that future.

Its important to establish what that future vision, in any situation, will be like for the person who is imagining it. On teh workshop we use the example of one business leader asking a manager to "Go increase profits". The manager promptly makes half the sales team redundant, reducing costs. The leader expects an investment in the sales team to increase sales. The simple question, in this example, from managar to leader, "What will it be like when...< there is an increase in profits>.. What will you see/hear/feel?"

This is perhaps an extreme example, but it highlights the problems when we communicate with others and assume that their own model and understanding of the world is the same as ours. Of course, it is not and can not be, since our own models of the world, our own understandings are based on our own very unique experiences.

Once managers, leaders, any one who communicates with another person, recognises this and makes a conscious effort to learn to understand what the other person's view is, only then can real sucessful relationships begin.

Even in our own personal lives, how many times do we have to say "I didnt mean that..." ?

So, if we learn how to articulate our own vision of the future, and communicate that in a way that those we are communicating with will understand and be able to imagine, then we are on our way to becoming true leaders with an ability to create a compelling vision for everyone involved.

This really only touches on the communication aspect of leadership, personal leadership and professional leadership. Naturally there are many other factors which affect our ability to be a great leader, a great communicator, a greate "relator".

Phil Goddard
Leadership Trainer & Life Coach
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 08 January 2006 11:23 PM
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Interesting thread.

But nobody seems to have mentioned the ability to listen yet. I believe that, for learning new skills, solving problems or dealing with people (whether employees or customers) we must be able to listen effectively. Many people rise to management positions by only listening to those above them! Personally, I would class listening as 55-60% of the skill of communicating.

Steve Kean, Management Training Consultant
 13 January 2006 01:01 AM
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Just to show we are listening, this is implied in the many references to effective communication and conversation.
However, since the success of communication lies in the outcome of clear mutual understanding then our communication of the implied importance of listening has been ineffective. Thank you for this gift.
Listening is indeed a critical issue and yet what is listening? Are we listening attentively or are we merely faking it and how would anyone know anyway? Are we listening with an open mind or are we listening through a filter of bias which will shape our response more strongly than the words being put forward by the other person? Are we listening for possibility or merely for some thread we can latch on to to turn the direction of the discourse to the outcome we were seeking before the conversation began? Are we listening for our own benefit or are we listening commitedly to facilitate the others outcome to be achieved? I could go on but is anyone listening transformationally?
 26 August 2010 11:17 PM
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As an engineer whose speciality has been leadership and development of leaders over the past 10 years; I love engineering as a profession and have such high regard for the quality of people in this industry. So I find it such a shame to see poor interpersonal, communication, presentation and leadership skills amongst many engineers, especially when it can be taught so easily.

Engineers have a great mindset - one of being presented with a problem and finding a solution. To my mind, teaching engineers how to communicate, present and be effective leaders is easy - just direct and leverage their innate problem solving abilities.



Executive Coaching For Engineers

Edited: 06 October 2010 at 10:37 PM by SCMIET

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