AgCareers.com January 18, 2017
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What Great Managers Do Differently
By Susan M. Heathfield, Human Resources Expert

Great managers break every rule perceived as conventional wisdom, when dealing with the selection, motivation, and development of staff. So state Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, a book that presents the findings of the Gallup organization’s interviews with over 80,000 successful managers.

An Overall New Approach to Human Resource Development

The insight most commonly expressed during the interviews with 80,000 great managers challenges traditional human resource management and development beliefs. Thousands of great managers stated variations on this belief: “People don’t change that much. Don’t waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough.” (p. 57)

The implications of this insight for training and performance development are profound. This insight encourages building on what people can already do well Instead of trying to fix weaker skills and abilities.

The traditional performance improvement process identifies specific, average or below performance areas. Suggestions for improvement, either verbal or in a formal appraisal process, focus on developing these weaknesses.

What great managers do instead, is assess each individual’s talents and skills. They then provide training, coaching, and development opportunities that will help the person increase these skills.


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