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/Rachel Matthews What one day taught me about my management style

This week I started my journey to effective management. I began the Foundation Leadership Programme.

It’s something I’ve wanted to be involved in for some time, but I was waiting for a new cohort to start at Bray Leino. Given that we offer this programme to our customers, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, having experienced some of the theories previously. I was wrong.

I was not prepared for how engaged I would be, for how much would resonate with me and for how many useful action points I’d be able to take away, just from day one.

The first day alone made me realise so many things I hadn’t even considered – about myself and about my colleagues. As the saying goes – you don’t know what you don’t know.

What struck me most about the workshop was how simple it can be to identify different types of people, understanding what drives behaviour, and how my behaviour affects the people I work with.

What one day taught me about my management style

Understanding this and when it is appropriate to use different management styles is something I have already put into practice.

One key factor that I discovered about the way I work is that I tend to use two management styles at all times. I was certainly relieved to understand that they weren’t the worst ones I could apply at inappropriate times, but they also weren’t the most suitable.

I always understood that one management style doesn’t necessarily work for everyone in a team, but doing this exercise made me realise that, actually, that’s exactly what I was delivering.

We all dream of the most productive, engaged and happy team possible, but how can we possibly be achieving this if, as managers, we’re not giving our colleagues what they need?

Self-awareness is a vital part of this process. I already knew (because of my prior limited experience with this programme) what my key driver was, but delving deeper into this helped me to understand why I am like this, and what affect it has on my colleagues. It also taught me how their behaviour affects me, which was something I hadn’t put much thought into previously.

This knowledge has had me planning future interactions and considering how I can put it into practice in more depth for forward success.

So, two days after the programme, when I’ve had a good chance to absorb everything I picked up, I thought I’d share my three key learning points.

  1. Understanding what drives you will help you understand and control your behaviours

  2. When the going gets tough, don’t forget to think about the three things around you – the task, the individual and the team – in equal measure

  3. It’s okay to be direct sometimes! Just recognise the situation you are in and manage it appropriately

This may all sound simple and, perhaps obvious, but I’d hazard a guess that many managers don’t do this at all times. We all tend to revert back to our comfort zone. Perhaps, with practice, some of these things will eventually become much more natural for me.

For more information on the Foundation Leadership Programme and other leadership and management training solutions, click here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us directly to find out more.

Rachel Matthews

Rachel Matthews, Social Media and Marketing Manager

In my blogs I will look at industry constraints and issues and problems that employees face in their day-to-day work lives.

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