A statue of Sun Tzu

 Show Line Managers What Great Looks Like – comes from the Free Guide – ‘Are You Annoyed by How Little Line Managers Support the Skills Training of Their Teams?’

Many organisations promote people based on their technical knowledge and achievements, rather than their people skills. This is known as the ‘Peter Principle’. Therefore, many Line Managers don’t know what great actually looks like when they’re trying to support their team’s development.

Explore the topic of what great looks like with the Line Managers. Ask them what they think a great Line Manager does and what a poor Line Manager does to support Learners during their learning. The answers won’t be all that new to you, but they will encourage Line Managers to set a good example.

According to Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve your Line Managers will forget quickly. The discussion about great and poor Line Management support will have been forgotten within 10 days. Therefore, you need to prod their memory with a 1-minute video reminder, or a 1-page scorecard, or a simple email of the 3 main points discussed.

Typical Forgetting Curve for Newly Learned Information - MBMThis Forgetting Curve shows how much is remembered over time and the effect of retention.


Show Line Managers what great looks like and remind them about it 10 days later, and ideally again 30 days later, so that it sticks in their memory. Share with them that Google’s famous analytics team examined data from thousands of employee surveys and performance reviews and concluded that ‘Coaching’ was the skill that best characterised an effective Line Manger.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.

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