I am enrolled in a dance class where 30-60 people practice, learn and perform together. We have 3 instructors – one key person and two are his assistants. So in this mix of 40 people (on an average) few of them consider taking the art form as a career, they practice all the moves everyday and are exceptional performers. Their bodies and muscles too have tuned to the kind of flexibility required in the style of dancing. There are few who wanted to learn the art form ever since they’ve gained consciousness; some find the two hours session a stress buster and a method of keeping themselves engaged on weekends. A very miniscule percentage form the crowd who once upon a time wanted to be a dancer, but got caught up in the rigmarole of life, family, kids and now when they have time to be with themselves; they are reclaiming their childhood ambitions. So precisely, this means that the forty odd crowd is a varied mix and match of preferences, motivation, agenda and learning style.
We make a mistake and no the instructor doesn’t howl, nor does he banish us. He instead mimes our action along with the correct style in a playful manner. He uses storytelling to teach the techniques and exhibits high level of intelligence while portraying a connection between art and science. He feels the pulse of every pupil and their individual momentum that they require to pick up a new skill. He very frequently claps and lauds for the class in between the session, despite we appearing in the worst of our forms. In turn we are taught to clap for ourselves, loud and in celebration after completion of a routine. He suggests we should practice between the weeks before turning for a new class and yet during the session he finds out, that a large chunk have forgotten the routine. He’s never seen scowling, not even for a moment; teaching the entire thing to the lost souls meticulously; all the while his assistants growing impatient. There are other instructors who take his place on some days, and the crowd plunges at its energy level. Once he’s back the class is swarming with an ever growing number of learners.
So what is it that he does, which makes people return to the academy, long after they’ve learnt the dance form, asking for more? What is it that mounts his popularity? There are people who haven’t picked up much during the sessions and are finding the dance form hard to cope, yet find themselves ready for his session every following week?
His experience of perhaps a decade helps in forming the foundation for his expertise and delivery of skills, but there are other instructors too from the academy of similar expertise or perhaps better. Yet the strategy he uses to make every disciple of his appreciate their uniqueness and style is more of an attitude than just pure skills. He helps people look beyond their shoddy bodies and enjoy the energy and freedom the art form gives. Encouragement from him at every step assists an individual to explore deeper into their potential and cross the peripheral boundary created by them – even the not so good pupils of his. The instructor too is a manager, a team lead for that matter!
It’s how you treat your stubborn, ill mannered, lazy, inefficient, low enthusiasm portraying individual or trouble maker, unsatisfied, disinterested employee; when your skills as a manager display. It’s as easy as a bite of chocolate to handle the star performer and the disciplined, timeline following employee. They are more or less any day more motivated than an average employee. Perhaps more motivated than the manager too! We all stretch to be apples of the company’s eye, but those who aren't, don't really strive to be a thorn. Circumstances, priorities in life, needs, expectation from self/company, goals in life all have a very critical role to play in every decision an employee makes. Plus if he's time and again regarded as being a low performer, he for sure is just serving the bench strength or prefers to be a sack of potatoes. Now we of course cannot turn the potatoes to French fries that kids love! Nor can he be allowed to be the prince of neverland! Is the manager avoiding the individual? Is the employee being punished for some action of his which went much against the policies of the company? Does the boss have a personal disliking for the individual?
The best of ‘The Manager’ skills are not always displayed in a corporate environment or MNC’s. Sometimes everyday people and groups have a better way of dealing with things.