What we’ve learnt: Chris Croft’s Management Training – What’s your management style?


Rubicon Recruitment Group provides an enriching environment for our team to develop, learn and progress with frequent educational lunches, external training programs and access to ‘Lloyd’s Library’*.

Some of our Specialist Consultants and Management team are currently undertaking Chris Croft’s management training.  A development program over the course of six sessions, they will be coached on a variety of management scenarios and techniques.

We’ve collated some information on the techniques learnt from the sessions so far, including some ‘food for thought’ (pardon the pun – you’ll understand if you read on):

What management techniques have we learnt?

Potato of Performance

By praising your team for their successes and thanking them for the good work they do, the ‘Potato of Performance’ focuses on the encouragement of your team’s development, offering positive support rather than berating them for under-performance.

“For me, the ‘Potato of Performance’ is something which will always be in the back of my mind.  It’s a reminder to not just focus on the negatives within a team but to regularly congratulate, encourage and support individuals.”

Aimee Jones, Training Manager

When speaking to your team about their achievements, or lack of, be mindful of how you deliver negative feedback.  As Chris explains, if you ‘keep chipping away at the potato, they’ll be nothing left!’

Performance Improvement Sandwich

The ‘Performance Improvement Sandwich’ challenges the traditional approach (aka the ‘s**t sandwich’) where addressing your team’s weaknesses, between helpings of praise at the start and end of a meeting, is often the method. Instead, the ‘Performance Improvement Sandwich’ encourages you to begin with your team’s achievements and follow with an action plan for any needed areas of improvement.

“It’s been vastly beneficial to highlight my team’s successes at the start of a meeting and to then follow with suggestions of improvement, working together on a way forward.”

Luke Hickson, Specialist Consultant & Manager of EngIn Division 

Coaching the Yacht

To break down a task into manageable steps is called ‘Coaching the Yacht’.  By teaching and coaching individuals with a step-by-step process, they will eventually be confident to comfortably master tasks alone with minimal supervision i.e. they will be ready to ‘sail the yacht’.

Situational Leadership

‘Situational Leadership’ refers to a leader or manager adjusting their style to fit the development level of the team they are trying to influence. It is the Manager’s responsibility to change their leadership style, not for the employee to adapt their learning method.

“Having a better understanding of the approach to take for different tasks, and depending on where my team sit in the ‘Competent’ vs ‘Motivated’ boxes, I will improve how I work with, support and guide my team to get them to a stage where they feel ‘motivated and competent’ and stay there!”

Sam Johnson, Marketing Manager

The Johari Window

The ‘Johari Window’ theory is the process of analysing what you know about yourself, discovering what others think of you and then looking at where these areas overlap.   It focuses on the importance of self-awareness to ensure the collective personal development within a team.  Focusing on ‘soft skills’ such as behaviour, it is a tool developed to improve communication and team dynamic.

“What has stuck most in my mind and is proving to be the biggest chunk of ‘food for thought’ to digest is The Johari Window theory.  I have always believed that exposing weakness and being upset or showing stress is not a good thing, striving to appear professional at all times. I think I’ve realised I’ve covered up my emotional or sensitive side so that others have a strong perception of me. Learning that covering my emotions could actually lead to my team thinking I’m hiding something and therefore being secretive is not a reaction that would be helpful.   They may mistake my ‘facade’ as ulterior and in my opinion could mean the team is less forthcoming with any issues.   It’s reminded me that we’re all only human after all and ultimately people relate to people.”

Helen Prescott, Specialist Consultant & Manager of Commercial Division

Rubicon are currently practicing this theory during internal lunches with our MD Lloyd, we’re not sure yet if we’re intrigued or apprehensive for the results!

Chris Croft is a leading coach and trainer providing a variety of courses designed to involve, inspire and motivate people of all levels. We host his day seminars within our Great Chamber on a regular basis, to see which courses are coming up visit; http://www.rubiconpeople.co.uk/events/

*Our MD has a library of personal and professional development books in his office, all available to the Rubicon team.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply