Advice From a Restaurant Manager: Coaching Mistakes

Even if restaurant management candidates take coaching and leadership courses they may find it difficult to transition from a worker/supporter mentality, to a coaching/leadership mentality. There are some bad habits that were ‘self satisfying’ when we were younger, but now can ruin our career development goals.

Pass Responsibility

Managers need to accept responsibility. They need to take charge. They also need to know their strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. They need to be risk takers. Even if you are not in a management position you need to learn that good work ethics are habits we develop over time. You don’t just move into a management job and then ‘poof’ you have all the skills you didn’t take the time to perfect.

Leaders take responsibility. Even if something isn’t your job it is best to accept responsibility. After you do that then you can delegate.

Accepting responsibility also gives you the ability to retain control over the project.

Lay Blame

Even if a mistake is someone else’s problem you need to learn how to explain the situation using facts, without laying blame, being toxic, or emotional. Management is only focused on facts and what you did, how you did it, and the results produced.

When you lay blame on someone they do not hear anything supportive. They do not hear that you are trying to help them do better next time. What they hear is that you are telling them they are no good, their efforts are not appreciated, and that you have just ‘ruined their day.’

Tell People They Are Wrong

This falls into the category of using words like ‘you should’, ‘you are wrong’, ‘don’t’, or other words that tell other people how they should act. Once you tell a person they are wrong, or use a phrase like ‘you should’ then they close down.

Once a person closes down then it is very difficult to get them back on your team. They will fight you even if you have a great idea that will make their job easier. It is just human nature.

Active Listening

This is the hardest lesson to learn. Learning to listen, especially when you ‘feel’ that they are wasting your time. Learning to pay attention and ‘engage’ when they are talking about emotions, or gossip, or venting. Holding your tongue can be the most frustrating part of active listening. But if you don’t let people ‘have their say’ then you cannot move to the next stage.

Learning the knack of active listening is easy to learn, but can take a lifetime to master. Each time you think you’ve mastered the skill you will learn there is more to learn.

Talk About Your Life

Work stays at work. Personal life stays at home.  A manager needs to remain aloof. It can be difficult to sustain work relationships without opening up about your personal life, but it is necessary if you want to make the transition to from floor staff to a management position.

This article is part of the GeckoHospitality restaurant manager development series. For more articles and tutorials google Geckohospitality, a leader in hospitality recruiting for 17 years.

Aliza Hudson (9 Posts)