Business Coaching and Gaining Managerial Experience
We have already seen in coaching articles related to management training and development such as "Business Coaching and Training for a New Manager" how business coaching sessions with an experienced business coach can be delivered in conjunction with the individual attending relevant management training courses like a first line management course which actually teaches them necessary information about how to perform the new role.
Exchanges and Temporary Moves for Managerial Experience
The article "Business Coaching and Training for a New Manager" also describes how exchanges and temporary moves can be actioned which give the new manager the opportunity to experience what it is like to be in charge and have the responsibility of a managerial role.
The problem with this is that whilst it may give a person a taster of what a potential new managerial position will be like and allow their superiors to assess how well they cope with the demands and pressures of the situation, it does rather throw them in at the deep end.
Along with being stressful for them, it can also cause disruption and problems for the company. As they cannot be placed in a simulator or dummy department, the team of people they will be temporarily taking charge of will be a "live" one in terms of providing a crucial function for the organisation and the achievement of its objectives (if they didn't then they wouldn't be employed in the first place). This means that placing a brand new, inexperienced individual at the helm could in the worst case scenario result in that team/department breaking down in terms of completing its work on time, which can lead to reduced production levels, lower revenue, increased costs, poor customer service and other negative consequences. Just as a trainee in any industry needs to practice in "live situations" in order to gain experience and improve their abilities, there is still that unsettling time at the beginning whilst they learn their craft on actual paying customers!
Shadowing and Buddying - A Better Option?
Rather than throwing a new manager straight into a real managerial position, however temporary in duration it may be, it will often be a far better option for them to be involved in shadowing and learning from an experienced existing manager as they perform the role instead of having to go straight in to having all of this responsibility upon their shoulders straight away.
Allowing the individual to take part in events such as sitting in on management meetings, viewing documents only meant for managers to see, explaining decisions which have been taken to the new manager etc can all provide tremendous benefits and learning material for them without risking them making decisions on their own which could negatively affect the performance levels of an actual team or department.
Don't Forget Business Coaching
Of course, whether the individual is attending management training courses, shadowing an existing manger, put in temporary charge of a team/department, or a combination of some or all of the above, they should still be provided with business coaching in order to assist them with the transition, change and step-up to a managerial position and the associated responsibilities that come with it.
This will make their adaptation run far more smoothly and help them overcome issues far more quickly than they would if they were largely left to their own devices and to figure things out for themselves with no support in place.