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Management training is a guarantee for success

19 July 2013 / 20:07:50  GRReporter
4349 reads

Victoria Mindova

The economic crisis has changed the rules of the game in all sectors of the economy. Despite the steady increase in unemployment and the growing number of bankrupt companies there are still firms in Greece that are developing and managing to cope in the difficult economic environment. They are creating jobs and paying their obligations to the state.

We have sought the expert opinion of Krysta Tzelepi who is a managing partner of Treasure Lab Ltd., a management training company, to tell us how to build a successful professional team in a period of financial crisis.

Treasure Lab Ltd. is a company that develops and introduces innovative executive programmes for optimization of management skills in major domestic and international companies. Its objectives are to improve the efficiency of the teams through focused exercises, team coaching, development of communication skills and other techniques.

The managers of the company and Krysta Tzelepi herself have extensive experience in the development and management of human resources in the field of management (HR Line Management). Tzelepi is a Solution Focused Coach – PCC, holds a B.A. in Psychology from the American College of Greece and a Master's degree in Child Development from Tufts University in the United States.

How has the financial crisis changed the relations between the employer and the employee?

Naturally, as happens in difficult situations, such relations can become strained in times of crisis.  With layoffs and rising unemployment, a number of things may happen, as we also experience from our coaching clients.  

Both the high executives, managers and workers feel the volatility and uncertainty of the environment. 

The employees respond in various ways to this. Some learn new skills so as to be more employable, others start “polishing up” their CVs and working on their professional network, the third group looks to markets abroad and there are people who just work harder and are afraid, and a few get “burned out” or become depressed.  Some employees combine many of the above. 

What is the situation with employers? How has the crisis affected them?

On the side of the employers, we also see a number of responses, including restructuring to face the decreasing market demand, relocating executives to other countries if their role is not needed in Greece, giving more responsibilities and upgraded roles to a person without the corresponding compensation, lowering of salaries, exit packages, etc. 

This depends on so many factors, including the business decisions of top management, if the emphasis is on people or not, the company culture.  We have seen many good practices and efforts to give extra tools to people through development programmes, resilience training, and executive coaching programmes. 

As our clients are mostly large Greek and multinational companies, there is good business planning and emphasis on people in the majority of the cases.  However, in other cases, one can see the opposite, namely massive layoffs, extreme pressure on people which does not lead to better results, management practices that have negative effects on teams. 

What is the role of management development and coaching companies, such as Treasure Lab, in the success of a company?

Our role is to help people and teams succeed by experiential workshops where people try out what they learn and by coaching to help put it all into practice.  For example, we train managers how to become more successful in managing teams, how to become a manager-coach, how to become more resilient. 

Our unique methodology combines both training in workshops and coaching afterwards in order to put it all into practice.  We have so far helped over 1,800 managers to become coaches. We have also helped hundreds of people in teams to become more productive by learning how to communicate and cooperate better.  For that purpose, we are authorized to use Team Coaching International Assessment (TCI) from the US, the Solution Focused approach from Solutionsurfers in Switzerland and others.

What are some of the common mistakes that managers make?

Although managers work hard to obtain results, sometimes they do not realize that results come from the people they manage.  Therefore, they need to spend more time in developing their team, acknowledging, giving feedback, encouraging, cooperating, communicating both formally and informally, so that the team becomes stronger and more productive. Behind every successful manager there is a strong team which is trusted and respected.

Tell us more about the magic ratio of 5 to 1, of positive to negative…

The research results of 60 leadership teams, as studied by Losada and Heaphy, show that the most productive teams in terms of financial results, customer reviews, etc. have a ratio of 5 or 6 positive interactions for every negative one.  These findings are in agreement with other similar studies on positive interaction in marital relationships.  So, acknowledgement, encouragement, positive feedback, agreement work better than negative interactions.  It is not that we do not need negative feedback but at a smaller ratio as when someone needs to change what he or she is doing, that may be harmful and risky.  The point is that positive feedback brings positive feelings and they, in turn, work towards positive reactions, behaviours, engagement and productivity.  The Gallup organization has worked on this for years with similar results.


Tags: EconomyMarketsCrisisGreeceBusiness
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