One of the biggest issues within the coffee business and the hospitality industry in general is the fact that many of our managers are very young. People get promoted into manager positions at a very young age, often just because they happen to be good at their job.
I do a lot of young manager training and mentoring and the main aspect that I focus on is trying to get them to assertively deal with their staff. Not just problem employees but day to day motivation and communication. Generally they do one of two things.
1. They shrink back from assertive communication and either just do the job themselves or communicate weakly and without clarity or…
2. They become “shouty” managers and rant and rave to get the job done.
Neither solution works but it’s often hard for managers, in their mid-twenties, to properly deal with seasoned veterans who may be ten or twenty years older. Much of what I teach involves changing tone, body language and going through a variety of exercises to help create confidence and explain how to communicate effectively.
The issue of body language is huge for assertive manager communication and I came across a little bit of video on Youtube that very clearly explains the difference between a weak manager and a strong assertive manager. It’s when Clark decides he’s going to come clean to Lois and then chickens out. You see this huge change in body language and tone as he shifts between the two parts of his character.
The issue is to try and get our staff (and indeed ourselves) to act and communicate much more like Superman and much less like Clark Kent.