Leadership and Coaching in Nepal – Deborah Koehler (part 6)

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Training Mid level Managers Delegation skills:    
On August 20th I had a briefing from the HR Director for the mid level managers of an International company (please see here for more details). Since that briefing, I have now conducted 3 separate days of training with 25 managers between the ages of 29 and 35. I have one more training day to complete the assignment.

After these three trainings this is what I conclude: The development of effective corporate culture is still a unique concept in Nepal. Most Nepali identify with their family and community over their work place. The participants of these training are members of the emerging, educated professional middle class, who are earning good money and carrying out important responsibilities. The interesting fact the number of women in these trainings. Women in the professional class were unthinkable even as recently as 5 years ago. In the second training, 9 of the participants were women, all of whom were very articulate, mature, and capable. And the males work with them and respected all of them. It is a real turn of events.

In the last 3 trainings I focused on the assessment of their direct reports in terms of knowing when and when not to delegate. How to make the assessment of which tasks to assign, when, and to whom is part of what they need to learn. So, too, is the cascade of bad outcomes, including rampant demotivation, that follows when a manager unnecessarily micromanages a delegated task. We looked at how to assess a staff member’s motivation and skill set. Perhaps more importantly, we looked at what happens to even talented individuals when their superiors pay no attention to their development but, instead, withhold information, greedily scoop up all the perks of travel and other benefits for themselves, and give their people little chance for exposure and growth in the organization. Such immaturity, selfishness, and short sightedness are still, alas, all too common. Power and status are new to many of them, and the intoxicating brew goes straight to their heads. It is important for them to learn how quickly the good feelings pass and how much damage they do along the way.

In each of the individual training program, I observed that as the day progresses and they begin to work in teams, and listen to and ask questions of each other, and share tasks, levels of creativity emerge that far exceed anything I have seen in the west. Nepali culture nurtures a spirit that, when released, leads to impressive quick wittedness and great, in-the-moment creativity. This youthful enthusiasm was joyful to watch. But it needs to be filtered through adult judgment if it is to be useful in a professional setting. With the right support, I do believe this balance can be struck. This new generation of younger managers, if properly supported, has the ability to blend their cultural heritage with more modern skills to produce impressive results. But they will do so if and only if their focus is not – like that of many of their superiors – entirely on themselves, but on the training and empowerment of those who work for them. The more they learn how to get the best out of others, the more the well do their best for themselves and their country. Part 7