There was a really interesting discussion on Twitter on the morning of Friday 5th Jan under the handle #LDInsight.* We were discussing up skilling. One of the threads was about proactive versus reactive development and learning. What has the most impact? It got me thinking about the management development that I am most happy delivering.
When we learn to drive we are given instruction, we have a go, we get feedback, we reflect and we try again. Instruction, practice, feedback, reflect, repeat. Eventually we are deemed competent to do it alone but the skill of being a good driver carries on being refined in the crucible of time and experience. (Of course, eventually, without care, we can become rubbish at it again!)
We learn best by being both proactive and reactive; by learning new “things”, applying them, reflecting and implementing new ways of working.
My Eureka Moment!
I was thinking about how this applied to training managers; what gives the best management development?
You can go on a course; there are plenty. There are courses for all levels, though you will find that the more senior you are, the more likely it is that the course is called Leadership Development. (And will almost certainly cost more.)
You can have a coach to help you through and refine your skill. Again, there are plenty. And again, you will pay more for a Leadership Coach and even more for an Executive Leadership Coach! (There are various definitions of what is leadership and what is management. It does seem to me that leadership development costs more!)
But how do you get both training and coaching in one place?
And then I realized that this is what I do.
In fact I would go so far as to say that this is what I am called to do. To mentor.
My Mentoring Service
To proactively give people input on:
- how to do things differently
- what makes our brains work the way that they do
- how to support staff
- how to be assertive etc.
But also, to act as a coach. To help them:
- reflect on what is currently happening for them
- apply new techniques and learn from that
- gain insight and alternative perspectives
- develop their own coaching skills
Good managers need to be refined in the crucible – either one-2-one or, better still, with others in an Action Learning Set. For me this would be the best management development.
I genuinely think that is what I am here for.
* This is a weekly discussion, on Friday’s, hosted by @LnDConnect. We (and by that I mean anyone) discuss learning and development, it’s impact, it’s best practice and how to do it really well. Also organisational development, HR, life, the universe and everything. Join us?