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Even born leaders need some coaching

We can all think of someone we know either personally or in the public eye who seems to perform his or her craft effortlessly. We look at someone like a Steve Jobs and think that the position he is in was inevitable, given his talents.

But the truth is, even natural leaders need development.

Restaurant owners know the importance of training both their front- and back-of-the-house staffs. It is essential for a smooth-running operation and also for a contented staff environment. However, to foster an effective, ongoing learning environment, the most important training you should consider is equipping your management staff with leadership skills.

Training your management staff beyond the basics of daily tasks is not only an investment in them, but in your staff as a whole. Why? Quality managers retain quality employees, which ultimately results in a quality guest experience.

Leadership training can mean a plethora of things. In a restaurant setting, effective leadership training could be as simple as training your managers to be influential role models which, in turn, sets the culture of the restaurant.

For example, if you have managers who arrive at work late, are disorganized, present themselves poorly and do not treat your establishment as a professional workplace, your staff will carry themselves in this manner as well.

As a result, your guests will see a restaurant where details are overlooked, staff is careless or indifferent, management does not have a presence and the overall quality of the visit is low. Even if the food is good, if your guests’ experience is poor, you are likely not going to see them again.

Effective leadership training or training by example can show your management staff the essential role they play in this domino effect. They need to understand that the way they present themselves directly affects the guest experience and the overall success of the business.  

Some elements to consider in your next management training:
• communication and listening skills
• image management/professionalism
• adaptability techniques
• stress management
• organizational behavior
• building trust

As you can see, these have nothing to do with reconciling POS reports and setting budgets, but building a team of managers who display the knowledge and traits above could make or break your restaurant. Consider hiring a professional to conduct initial training and be an active participant in it. Your staff will appreciate the seriousness you give the session and you just might learn something new as well.

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