A Good Instructor Doesn’t Always Make a Good Manager

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Are Your Martial Arts Assistant Instructors Employees?

While an instructor may run a class with stern discipline that doesn’t always translate well when that instructor puts on his management hat. The job of the owner/manager is not to be a dictator, but to tell people how they’re doing, what they’re doing, give encouragement, and give guidance.  At participative meetings, you hand out assignments, you discuss work in progress, you re-assign work to each person, here’s what the others are doing and the staff discusses everything.  In motivation, we only become committed to something to the degree to which we are allowed to discuss it.  We only become involved and loyal and excited about any task to the degree to which we can contribute our opinions and our ideas.  So the more discussion you have over the work, the objectives, the goals and how to accomplish them, the more discussion you have, the more commitment, the more loyalty, the more excitement, the more enthusiasm your staff will have.

Commitment to quality performance is a key factor.  Quality performance can never be produced without some kind of emotional commitment.  Emotion and quality work are only achieved through involvement.  People only get excited enough, determined, and committed enough to work and take things to the final step where they do excellent work when they get a chance to participate in setting goals, setting standards, taking feedback, discussing with other people and so on.  Discussion has a one to one relationship to motivation.  If you want your people to be motivated, have high self esteem, be positive, and be committed, then they need an opportunity to talk about what they are doing.  And more than that, good people will not tolerate a work environment where they are not involved in their work.

We are going to talk about the three R’s and the four factors of motivation.  The first is leadership style.  This is a key factor in determining how motivated people are within the team.  Sometimes just changing the leader changes the whole performance of the school.

The second is the reward structure within the school.  In other words, what are the incentives for excellent performance?

The third is the organizational climate.  In other words is it a happy place to work or is it a negative place to work?  Is it a performance oriented place or a politically oriented place?

The fourth is, work in the school has to be inherently motivational instead of inherently depressing, so those are the four keys.  By the way, good schools are always trying to structure the work so that the nature of the work fits the nature of the person, and the two of them combine for high self esteem and peak performance.  For example, they match the instructors who work well with children with the appropriate classes. Conversely, they keep those who are more suited for adult classes in those classes as well.

The reward structure, the organizational climate, and the nature of the work can be changed slowly and have to be thought through, but leadership style is the thing that can be changed the fastest.  In other words, you can go from being negative to being positive, and as a positive leader you suddenly become a multiplying factor in work.  Now the three R’s for motivation are rewards, and rewards must be based on performance.  The only way for a reward structure to work, in helping the school to be successful is that it must be related to performance.  You must not reward anything else, not rank, not seniority, not longevity, not education, not anything but just performance.

Recognition is something that managers owe to their people and one of the greatest complaints in the world of work is not being recognized for good work.  Whenever a person does something that is good, something that is exceptional or even makes a good try, give them recognition, give them public recognition and number three re-enforcement, remember what we know from behavioral psychology is what gets re-enforced, gets done again.  So every single time that you give praise, privately and publicly for any behavior, you know you’re going to get more of it.  If you don’t praise and re-enforce good work behavior and quality work you’re going to get less of it.  Whatever you want more of, you reward, recognize and re-enforce.  Successful schools create environments, where the only way that you can get ahead, is by achieving the recognition in the areas that contribute to the school’s goals.

Management by values is the next concept.  I think this is really important.  What it simply says is that, the deepest of all human needs, right at the core of the self concept is the need for meaning and purpose.  And meaning and purpose always arise out of the value structure of the individual.  So that’s why it is so important for you as a school owner to convey over and over again, what the values of the school are.  What you believe in and the higher the values of the school, quality, friendliness, service, respect for the individual, building self esteem, training and growing people, whatever your values are, those are the values that stimulate, trigger, motivate and inspire people.  But don’t assume that people know what the values are.  Its important that you as the school owner continually re-enforce the values in action.  That means when somebody’s having a problem, that’s where you demonstrate what the values are.  When you have to deal with a difficult student, that’s where you demonstrate what your values are.  When you deal with somebody who is being unfair or demanding, that’s how you demonstrate what the school really stands for.