Transforming your line managers from doers to leaders

When moulding a line manager into a true business leader, how can you produce an individual who will truly inspire your firm?

Transforming your line managers from doers to leaders
One of the most important steps in grooming leadership talent within any organisation is getting line managers to “stick their heads above their own silo,” Gary Nelson, founder and chairman of NBO Group and former head of IBM in Asia, told HRD. This involves changing them from being a mere doer to a facilitator or leader.
 
“Once they start to evolve to a facilitator, they start to show courage, to show their emotional sensitivity to others, particularly as they start to interact across silos with people of different behavioural characteristics and educational backgrounds,” he said.
 
It is essential that upcoming leaders see the need to work in teams and build up their own self-awareness. Passing through this step involves developing:
  • Active listening skills
  • The ability to question and clarify
  • The ability to diagnose and assess risk
“You see them mature in the facilitation process and they get more responsibility, and that is how they become identified as cross-silo talent and evolve in ways that usually occur through mentoring and coaching of the talent pool,” Nelson said.
 
A softer approach
 
Although the hard skills have been the main focus of leadership development in the past, soft skills are now coming into the forefront amongst line managers and HR.
 
“The hard skills are the easy part; they can be picked up more naturally and quickly,” Roland B Smith, Asia-Pacific vice president and managing director of the Center for Creative Leadership, told HRD.
 
“It’s the soft skills that take a bit more time to impart. For example, the managing of people in a way that is both effective yet welcoming – this emotional quotient part requires a lot more guidance, training and development.”
 
Firms are now becoming more sophisticated in developing these soft skills, going beyond DISC or MBTI – tests which simply box people into groups – and onto realising that leaders are people that require all these facilitation skills.
 
“So, yes I know myself and I know my tendencies, but now I know my strengths and weaknesses, how do I operate with integrity without trying to be something that I’m not? And, knowing I have the hard skills, how do I engage with others across the silo?” Smith said.
 
Related stories:
 
What to do with a line manager who won’t listen
 
Managers must be rewarded for developing talent, says Sony exec
 
Talent management checklist: rethinking human capital

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD Asia.

Recent articles & video

How to get recruitment and retention right

Why leaders need to open up about their mental health

October is the best month to hire, says LinkedIn

Exclusive Feature: Paving your way for better payroll

Most Read Articles

Almost half of Singaporeans unhappy with life

How the best workplaces are winning over millennials

Future of work: what skills will be essential?