Today I passed a business with a sign prominently displaying the message: “under new management.” Whenever I see such a sign, I begin to wonder about its intended outcome. It seems to be reaching out to all who pass by to say, “we’ve changed…come in and try us again, see how we have improved, we are really worth another look…”
What a great idea for team leaders too: “under new management.” As managers, supervisors and team leaders, we can provide NEW management techniques and approaches to those we serve by making subtle changes (or not so subtle) to our management style. You may be one who boldly tries new approaches with your team regularly, or perhaps you are like most team leaders who a bit more cautious of changing their style and approach. Change is uncomfortable for anyone, but under the watchful eye of our team members we can let our imaginations get the best of us… “What will they think of me? Will it come off as planned? What if it doesn’t work?”
Well, think of “under new management” as an opportunity to try out changes while allowing you to be open and upfront about what you are doing. A perfect time to put up the under new management banner is right after you have attended some training, or read a new book. Use these situations as an 'excuse' to try new things. Get your team to support you. Openly announce that this is not comfortable or easy, but you believe it will make you more effective. Involve the team in a debriefing and get even greater level of support from them. By showing your interest in their input and by allowing your direct reports to “coach” you, support and acceptance will come easier than expected.
Consider the benefits of taking the risk to try new behaviors and approaches and to involve your team in the process:
1. You are role modeling the importance of trying new behaviors for your team.
2. You are suggesting that improvement is always possible and that we can all work to be more effective.
3. You are involving your team and developing their observation skills and their ability to give feedback.
4. You are creating a learning culture.
5. And finally, you are growing and becoming more effective with each new skill you turn into a habit.
Are you the same team leader today that you were the day that you were given the title of mananger or supervisor? Or, is your team regularly under new management?