Having held an event last year with around 20 of our clients who are either principals, or managers, in their real estate agencies (many of these agencies are the leading real estate agents in their area). I thought it would be good to reflect on how much I learn from sharing a couple of days with these people.
The first thing you realise when you speak to any managers or business owners (this is certainly not restricted to real estate agents) is that most people end up being business owners or managers because they are good at their job. Once they are in this role it is assumed, they will manage people well, even though their success in their previous role likely have very little, if anything, to do with management skills.
Most people then fall back to one of two positions “I know what worked for my boss, so I just need to do the same” or “I know what my boss did with me, I won’t do that!”. Unfortunately with either of these approaches you are likely to end up doing what worked well for you, but you are unlikely from these approaches to realise the importance of not “doing unto others as I would like to be done to me” but going one step further to “Do unto others as they would like me to do to them”.
Most of our group of attendees had their big breakthrough in management success when they received clarity on these five significant points:
- Being great at my previous role doesn’t make me a great manager
- Not everyone wants to be treated the same
- I need to have systems and processes in place to both manage, and to be seen to manage, people consistently
- Even though points 2 and 3 seem to be contradictory, they are both equally important
- My main job is now being a manager! Even if I still have other roles
In a very simple way what this means is for people to be able to be managed effectively you need to have a great process to recruit them, take them through a great induction process (including them being clear on the expectations of their role), train them well, and then continue to ask lots of questions to both ensure you understand them, as well as they understand you.
The next step is to make them accountable in a manner that also enables them to get excited about, and feel satisfaction for, what they have achieved.
When they came to the realisations above, and when they realised that being a great manager was now their job, they had to find ways to develop these skills as very few have management training before becoming managers. From this some went looking for books, training events, TED talks, bloggers and many other various ways of learning new skills.
As a coach myself it may not surprise you that I think developing coaching skills is one for the best assets you can have when becoming a manager. What may surprise you though is my belief, based on seeing our clients succeed as managers, is that another major contributor to success in management is taking the time to reflect on what has, and hasn’t worked. To quote John Dewey “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.” As either a new or experienced manager, allocating this time to reflect on what you have done could assist you in significantly improving your management performance. Obviously, I would still recommend you also consider books, training, etc. if you wish to become a truly great manager.