Britain Has Got Talent…and the Professional Development of the Progressive Manager

Well the Apprentice is over for another year.

What TV does the Progressive Manager watch now in the name of professional development?

Try Britain Has Got Talent. Not usually my cup of tea – but watch Paul Potts singing Nessun Dorma.

Notice the body language of the judges as they:

  1. Find out that a car phone salesman is going to sing them opera (This is going to be bad…)
  2. Hear the opening bars of a recording of Nessun Dorma (How bad is this going to be…)
  3. Hear the beauty that comes out in this man’s voice.

If you have ever had any doubts about the importance of reading facial expressions and body language and how it speaks volumes just take 4 minutes to watch this video.

There are so many lessons in this clip alone around passion, talent, self confidence, opportunity and risk taking. Watch it – on the company’s time – and learn.

Are you doing ‘what you were born to do’?

More Great Questions to Improve Performance

In an earlier post – Great Questions for Improving Performance through 121s I offered some questions that have worked well for me in 121s.

Well, here are some more.

  • What could you do which, done really well, would make a real difference to this organisation?
  • What do you need, from me, in order to help you to make your best contribution to the company?
  • What are the things for which I, and the organisation, should hold you accountable?  What should we expect from you?
  • How can we best use your knowledge, skills, passion and interest to help the company develop?
  • Who uses the outputs of your work?  What can you do to make sure that your outputs are well used?

Of course these questions can also work well outside of 121s.  The real point is that only when you start to explore questions like these with each member of your team will you really start to improve communication, teamwork and performance.

And of course the answers to the questions change continually as the business and its environment change – so this needs to be an ongoing and frequent dialogue.

This is the real work of coaching, development and performance management.

The Only Thing I Can Manage

It has yet to be proven that anyone can really manage anyone else. We can influence, encourage even persuade. But manage?

The only person that we can really manage is ourselves. So next time as a manager you are confronted with a problem start to look for the solution in ever increasing concentric circles – starting from your desk.

The only thing that you can manage is you.

Yet so many managers fixate on managing other people, managing problems and opportunities that they hardly ever consider their own potential for development and change.

  • What changes can you make in the way that you do your work that will help those that work with you to do their best work?