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Blog - Why we must train from the top down by Tracy Powley

Why we must train from the top down by Tracy Powley

Posted by Tracy Powley 13/03/13

A number of training and coaching sessions we have run recently have really driven home what most learning and development consultancies would advocate ... that any development around behaviours should start at the top of an organisation.
One piece of coaching in particular has bought into sharp focus how dangerous it can be to offer development to your managers, without ensuring their line manager is role modelling good management practice.

This particular coaches – let’s call her Jane – has been promoted into a management position and to the company’s credit she has been offered coaching to help develop her management skills. She has been a joy to work with... receptive to ideas, self-aware, keen to improve and, critically, has worked on all her agreed actions in between she is really seeing the progress she is making and getting results. Which has been very motivating for her.

Or at least it would be, if her manager was to play their part. In fact her manager is so hands off as to almost not be there. They have shown no interest in Jane’s coaching, bar a cursory “How’s it going?” and have provided no feedback on how they see her progressing. One to ones are scheduled in, but are often moved or cancelled at the last minute and if they do happen are brief and focus on operational issues only.

Not only is Jane frustrated by this lack of support, she is also, quite rightly, starting to question why she is working hard to build open and honest relationships with her team, yet she is not getting anything like that herself.
In fact the frustration is leading her to question her next steps in her career... and actually, the company are in danger of losing a very valuable member of staff.

Without good management skills being displayed at the top, the very investment you are hoping will aid staff retention and improve performance, will just have the opposite effect. Don’t let this happen in your team.

For more information about how we can help develop your managers, click here

Tracy Powley
Tracy Powley

The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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