Use this step-by-step guidance to work through the support materials to help you explore and develop your management capability. None of the steps should take long, and the recommendation is that you plan in short bursts of time over a week or two to get to the point when you are ready to take action (covered in steps 1-6). You can then allow a few months to take the actions you have planned (outlined in step 7), before reviewing your progress and planning further actions (covered in step 8). 

This will be a worthwhile investment of your time as it will help you adopt a management approach that supports good health, wellbeing and engagement in your team. Your behaviour and the culture you create in your team is the biggest influence on team members’ work experience. The key behavioural areas covered in the behavioural framework can help you manage your team in a way that saves time and gets better results – all of which is good for your own wellbeing as well as that of your team.

You can also download a copy of this step by step guidance.

Step 1: Answer the quiz

Complete the behavioural alignment quiz. When you press submit, your responses will be used to generate a recommendations report.

Step 2. Reflect and get feedback

Take some time to reflect on the recommendations report you receive. Consider what stands out for you as most striking, interesting or even surprising.

If you answered ‘not sure’ to any of the questions in the quiz, your recommendations report will have included a set of further questions: you can use these to reflect and get feedback from others about the extent to which you show capability in that particular area of manager behaviour.

If you want to see the full set of reflection/feedback questions, you can download them.

Even if you didn’t answer ‘not sure’ in the quiz, you might still want to use some of these questions as part of your reflection and/or to seek feedback from others on how they see your management approach.

Hints and tips on getting feedback

  • Why? Getting feedback on your behaviour can help you to build your self-awareness and develop your management capability. However, seeking feedback needs to be done carefully and with sensitivity if it is to be honest and useful.
  • Who? The person or people you ask for feedback do not always need to work directly for you, but they do need to have a good knowledge of the way you manage your team and to have observed your everyday management style. It is important that whoever gives you feedback is honest and open when answering the questions. Please be sensitive to how they might feel about giving you honest feedback and consider this in both choice of, and approach to, whoever you ask.
  • What? It is generally helpful if the feedback is specific. So rather than asking whether you are, for example, ‘supportive’, ask people to give specific examples of what you did (or did not) do, what you said/wrote, and how it came across. This may include non-verbal cues.
  • How? You may find it helpful to let others know that you are looking to develop your management capability. Ask them to consider the relevant feedback questions before talking to you and arrange a time to discuss their feedback.
  • When? It can be difficult to take on information and reflect objectively when you are unprepared or feeling emotional. Before meeting to discuss feedback, take some time to get into the right frame of mind so that you can listen and respond openly.

Step 3. Identify strengths

Using your recommendations report, together with your reflections and any feedback you have gathered, identify aspects of your management approach that you feel are particular strengths and note them down. Choose two of these to focus on as priority areas. Don’t feel that you need to do everything at once: you can come back to the other areas at a later stage.

Step 4. Identify areas to develop

Based on the strengths you identified in step 3 and your recommendations report, identify aspects of your management approach that you feel you want to develop. Choose the top two of these to focus on as priority areas for building your capability. Don’t feel that you need to do everything at once: you can come back to the other areas at a later stage.

Step 5. Plan the action you will take

Taking the areas of behaviour you identified in steps 3 and 4, plan out what you are going to do to build on your strengths and make changes.

Take a look at the following exercises for ideas to help you develop your management capabilities: each exercise focuses on a particular statement from the quiz:

  1. Taking a positive, respectful, open approach (Quiz statement 1)
  2. Remaining calm under pressure (Quiz statement 2)
  3. Handling conflict and people management issues (Quiz statement 3)
  4. Providing knowledge, clarity and guidance (Quiz statements 4 and 5)
  5. Building and sustaining relationships (Quiz statement 6)
  6. Supporting development (Quiz statement 6).

You may also find the action plan helpful.

Top tips on action planning:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Be as concrete as possible about the actions and steps you are going to take.
  • Put the dates for when you will take the first step on each area into your calendar or diary.
  • Don’t feel you need to do it all on your own: get support from your own manager, your team, your peers and/or your employer.
  • Put a date in your calendar or diary to review your entire action plan, to see where you have got to and what more you want to do.

Step 6. Identify any barriers and develop strategies to overcome them

Even though you want to be a positive, supportive manager, you might find that your circumstances or situation get in the way. We have identified some of the most frequently mentioned barriers, together with suggestions for how to overcome them. Complete the quiz to get suggestions and ideas on how you could overcome these barriers. You may want to add actions based on these to your action plan.

Step 7: Take action!

Every journey begins with the first step. There is no need to be perfect or do it all at once, just take one step at a time. Changing behaviour is hard, so be patient and kind with yourself and get help when you need it.

Step 8: Review, celebrate and take further action

On the date that you set (in step 5) for your action plan review, take a little time to reflect on the following.

  • What have you achieved so far? How will you celebrate your achievements?
  • What have you not fully done – or not done at all? For these areas:
    • What got in the way? You might want to revisit step 6 to explore this further and identify how to overcome barriers.
    • Do you need to change the plan or do you just need a little more time?
    • Do you need extra support and help with taking action?
  • What more do you want to do? If you want to take on further areas of change, you may find it helpful to go back to steps 3 and 4.

Based on the responses to these questions, take a moment to update your action plan or create a new one and set a new date for review.

Visit the supporting line managers page on the CIPD website for information on further resources.

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Overcoming barriers

Use our quiz to identify the barriers that may stop you being the positive, supportive manager you want to be and get recommendations on how to overcome these barriers

Take the quiz