Developing Young Managers – Do Not Make a List

While reading through a Forbes article on developing Millennial managers, which you can read here, I was struck by the lack of awareness of the importance of relationships in writings about training new managers.

Most consultants will list a plethora of things to do to prepare people for management. When you read these articles, you will need to make a list of things to do to make sure your younger managers will develop the skills needed to manage their subordinates:

  • Effective Communication
  • Provide consistent feedback on their verbal and written communication
  • Use coaching questions to help them improve communication
  • Pay attention to teamwork, which will help their teams perform well
  • Use your influence to affect others.

While these are good suggestions in developing young managers, they miss the point of managing people of any age or experience.

The list of things that you write down and try to execute will not be effective in real life.

People respond to your relationship with them, not a list of exercises that you go through in your meetings with them.

The internet is filled with lists of things that will improve your life. And especially in business, it is filled with more lists.

“5 ways to improve the performance of you team”.

“4 things you can do to super-charge your employees”.

“6 ways to make sure your employees are productive”.

If you read almost any article on management, it will give you a list of things to write down and follow to make things better.

Any advice that tells you to follow a list of things to do is empty of motivation and the heart of management.

Management coaching is about relationships between you and your younger managers. If you have developed a close relationship with the young managers in your charge, they will look to you for advice about their leadership and will pay attention to the way you lead them.

Reducing this to a list of “to-dos” for them or a list of ways you help them progress does not have the depth needed to really help them.

When you, as their manager, have been transparent and have developed a close relationship with them, they will learn how to manage their subordinates without your lists of things for them to do.

Managing people is much more complex and goes much deeper than a list of things you run through that you wrote down from a management article.

In my book The Magical Manager, How to Crush Any Company Goal with Greater Efficiency, Lower Cost and Bigger Profits, I cover the difference between managing people by lists and managing people with relationships.

Next time you see an article that talks about X number of things you can do to improve your management skills, don’t bother writing down the X things. It will be a waste of time.

Jack Zoellner (Relational Leadership Speaker)

Jack Zoellner is the "Relational Leadership Speaker." He shares his revolutionary 5-step M.A.G.I.C. method for managing workers and radical company culture change through speaking, writing and consulting. For your next event, book Jack here >>