Charlton reviews

Trainer and writer John Charlton appreciates the approach taken by Angel
Productions in its latest video

Anyone who has spent time in the armed forces will tell you that
non-commissioned officers are the line managers who ensure the troops perform.
But too often, line managers are from the Sergeant Bilko or Corporal Hitler
brigade – bumbling clowns or over-bearing disciplinarians. What can you do?

Apart from having them shot at dawn, the answer is to re-mould them through
training. Find Your Voice – a training package from Angel Productions – aims to
do just that. It has two videos, a manual, hand-outs and guidance on the themes
of VOICE (vision, organisation, involvement, communication and enquiring),
which sum up the essential skills of managing people.

They are explored through the dispatch department of a pharmaceutical firm,
where stereotyping, poor management and inappropriate behaviour are displayed
against a backdrop of forklift trucks and large boxes.

The cast includes dispatch manager Martin and his nanosecond fuse, his dim
assistant Judi and college boy Ben, the forklift truck driver who is just killing
time until something better comes along. Smoothie Darshan is the office
captain, a man with the wisdom and demeanour of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Prozac.

The scenarios are straightforward. For example, Martin is the classic
‘raging bull’, with no idea how to manage people. But once Darshan shows him
the way, he’s soon walking it.

Will this package help your line managers do the same? Maybe, if you deal
with non-graduate line managers who are relatively new to the job and
responsible for a largely semi-skilled workforce. It’s of even more relevance
if your company is multi-cultural, as diversity issues feature highly.

It has just about everything a trainer needs. The hand-outs and exercises
are as clear as the message they convey. And the ‘vox pops’ of members of the
public talking about their experiences of managers is a nice touch.

– Find Your Voice, by Angel Productions. Two videos and manual £795, plus

Training magazine rating: * * * *

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