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Drink a Cup of Coffee or Develop a Team Member?

Drink a Cup of Coffee or Develop a Team Member?

 

I recently came across a 2018 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that noted companies with fewer than 100 employees, on average, spent only 12 minutes of dedicated training time per employee – during the employee’s entire tenure with them! As pathetic as that is, it’s even more depressing because it dropped from a whopping 13.4 minutes of dedicated training time per employee in 1995. The 2018 report also noted that companies with 100-500 employees invested less than 6 minutes of dedicated training time per employee.

Now, like me, you might be thinking, “Oh come on. Those numbers can’t be right. Only 6 – 12 minutes? It takes me longer to drink just one cup of coffee!” But upon reflection, I can understand how those anemic numbers could still be viable. Just yesterday, during a coaching conversation with a senior manager, I said to him: Telling isn’t training. We had been discussing performance challenges with one of his managers, when he said to me, “But I’ve told him what to do!” Yeah but, telling isn’t training.

 

Telling isn’t training.

Now, let’s be honest, all of us managers have had to figure things out ourselves, and it’s a skill we want and need our team members to develop as well. Those solid, basic, problem-solving skills help develop skill, heighten job knowledge, and strengthen confidence. However, when we choose to ‘let them figure it out for themselves’, we have to be intentional and clear in our reasoning for doing it.

  • Why are we making them figure it out for themselves?
  • Is it because I don’t have or want to take the time to show them/coach them?
  • Is it because I don’t know how?
  • Is it because they need to develop their job skills and confidence in themselves?

Most basically, what is the long-term benefit of having them figure it out for themselves, versus the short-term action of taking the time to train them or work with them right now?

 

What is the long-term benefit of having them figure it out for themselves, versus the short-term action of taking the time to train them or work with them right now?

If telling others what to do and ‘letting’ them figure things out themselves is your default training mode, you’re making huge assumptions about others’ capabilities (And you know the adage about assumptions, right?) Simply telling someone to do something (which is new to them), and assuming they have the relevant background information and professional or personal experience to ‘just know’ what to do, is taking a pretty big leap of faith in that person. Does that sound fair? Not really. It’s as if you’re really saying, “‘I expect you to know as much as me – even though I’ve had way more experience with this than you. So go ahead now. Do this task as if you know what I know.” It’s not fair, but we all do it. And to top it off, when our team members don’t ‘just know’ what to do, our perception of them and their skills drops – often dramatically.

So the next time you are frustrated with a team member because she doesn’t know how to do something, grab a cup of coffee and spend some intentional time helping her deepen her skills now so she’ll have stronger skills in the future.

 

 

Copyright MMXXII – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

 

 

Liz Weber CMCLiz Weber, CMC CSP

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.


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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on January 25, 2022 in Leadership Development and tagged , ,