I was looking through a catalogue of training for business professionals and saw a number of classes on leadership skills and conflict resolution for supervisors and new managers. The courses are known to be very good and all the trainers are outstanding. The costs are what you would expect for this quality of program. The reason I bring this up is: I wondered if these classes, in spite of their inherent value to the individuals taking them, have any probability whatsoever of transforming the organizations that participate in them? Participants almost always enjoy these training programs and come back raving about how wonderful the content was. But how often have you seen a person return from one of these classes and make a big difference in the way? I’ll let you answer that.
It seems to me that if an organization really wants to affect their supervisors’ leadership skills and improve conflict resolution they would be better served by training supervisors and floor managers in Job Relations.
When we talk to companies they usually tell us that their folks are all getting along just fine, thank you, and that they don’t need Job Relations. But then when we actually deliver JR to an organization, the line supervisors almost always rate this program as the one they need the most. The simple fact that there are scores of classes in conflict resolution, leadership skills, and dealing with change proves the need supervisors have for these skills.
You know, as I looked at the course outlines I was struck by the similarities between the content of many of these courses and Job Relations (JR).
The difference is JR operationalizes the content taught in many of these courses.
1. JR teaches the supervisor how to see a problem, make a decision on whether to seek help or handle it on their own, and take action.
2. JR teaches the supervisor how to first determine the objective and to evaluate the results of their actions based on the degree to which they achieved the objective.
3. JR teaches the supervisor how to get the facts, weigh and decide what to do based on those facts, and to take action.
The class not only teaches the skill of how to do these things, but lets the participant practice the skills on relevant problems in their own experience and workplace. In that way, they go back to their jobs not just with a head full of fancy ideas but with the ability to put into effect what they have learned and make a real change in how they fulfill their responsibilities. So, let’s take a fresh look at JR. Instead of sending a few people out for a few days, why not bring those skills into the organization, for all the supervisors, and thereby transform them and the organization.