Feeling good about yourself, being enthusiastic and getting in touch with your emotions are the key qualities of tomorrow’s manager, according to the author of a new book on the subject.
Di Kamp says that people are the key to gaining a competitive edge in the market place and the way that staff are managed is reflected in how they treat customers and the degree to which they are motivated.
Kamp, who runs her own training and consultancy business, said: “Old-style management techniques, such as bullying, achieve nothing.
“The basis of the book – called The 21st Century Manager – is to encourage managers to get more in touch with their own needs and moods.
“How can a manager start to work on how they relate to others if they don’t know how to relate to themselves?”
In the book Kamp lists a series of key skills which are vital for any manager’s success, such as thinking positively and being a role model.
Kamp said:”People take more notice of what you do than of what you tell them to do. Managers have to practise what they preach by setting a clear example of being an effective and committed worker.”
Other key skills include developing self-awareness, thinking positively, showing enthusiasm and having ethics and values.
Kamp added:”Everyone knows that the ideal manager is someone who comes across as human, respects their staff and has a sense of humour – that is the sort of person that people will do anything for, but a lot of time we lose sight of this in the every day work situation.”
She said a new management approach is particularly important in changing environments such as the travel industry.
“There has been a lot of talk of travel agencies facing a real threat from the Internet. If agencies want to survive this threat, they’re going to haveto offer something special – that something is the human contact thatcustomers don’t get from on-linebooking.
“It all comes back to offering good customer service, and that comes back to managers treating staff with respect.”
Kamp’s view is backed up by Thomas Cook head of retail training and customer service development Mike Williamson who believes it is vital that managers set an enthusiastic example to staff.
“If a shop manager has a high sales target to reach and says to his staff ‘Come on guys we’re nearly there’, the reaction from staff will be vastly different than if he said ‘We’ve got this target, but I don’t think it’s reachable. Managers’ attitudes filter down to staff,” said Williamson.
Motivation was at the forefront of Thomas Cook’s retail conference inSouth Africa, attended by 1,200 staff including senior managers, retail managers and support centre managers.
Williamson said:”One of the exercises we did was to get managers to talk enthusiastically about a subject they really hated – like stamp collecting – for two minutes.
“It flagged up the importance of good body posture and tone of voice and showed that if you can get the level of enthusiasm up, you could almost sell fridges to eskimos.
“Management today is about managing attitudes.
“You can give a manager all the tools and skills in the world, but if the positive attitude is not there, they are useless.”
n The 21st Century Manager by Di Kamp is published by Kogan Page and costs £14.99.
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