Sticky Notes: Teaching-Style Management

The real action when it comes to making training come alive is on-the-job practice with regular coaching from what I call “teaching-style” managers.

While it is critical nowadays to make available lots of easy-to-use online resources so employees can pursue their own self-directed learning, don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you can neglect the human element in training. The real action when it comes to making training come alive is on-the-job practice with regular coaching from what I call “teaching-style” managers. This means:

  • Talking about what's going right, wrong, and average every step of the way.
  • Reminding everybody of broad performance standards regularly.
  • Turning best practices into standard operating procedures and teaching them to everybody.
  • Using plans and checklists when possible.
  • Focusing on concrete actions within the control of the individual employee.
  • Monitoring, measuring, and documenting individual performance in writing.
  • Following up and providing regular, candid feedback.
  • Asking good questions, listening carefully, and answering questions.
  • Getting input.
  • Learning from what your employees are learning on the front line.
  • Thinking through potential obstacles and pitfalls— making back-up planning part of every work plan.
  • Anticipating and preparing, training and practicing.
  • Strategizing together.
  • Providing advice.support, motivation, and even inspiration once in a while.
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