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  • Writer's pictureROHEI

NEW! Relational Leadership Programme for People Managers

Today’s middle managers are overwhelmed by the complex roles they have to play. Learn more about how you can set your middle managers up for success.


They are often referred to as the “glue” that holds companies together, bridging the gap between the top management team and lower level workers. They implement strategy and organizational changes, keeping workers engaged during both good and bad economic cycles. - KNOWLEDGE @ WHARTON

Organisations must champion the development of their leaders across levels. Majority of leaders are in middle management—a complex, challenging space to be in, but extremely critical to the success of a business.

The Challenges of Middle Management

Because of the roles they play, they have the widest influence and the largest impact.

Middle managers—or People Managers as we refer to them—have a web of roles to play.

They take direction from the top and manage teams toward strategy execution. “The middle managers translate strategy and the big picture so that it makes sense and is applicable for the day-to-day workers,” Knowledge @ Wharton says.

Middle managers take note of workers’ needs, make their own observations of client interfaces and shop floor activity, and relay that information up to the senior managers. “They are a buffer between the top managers and lower-level employees.”

Because of the roles they play, they have the widest influence and the largest impact.

“The role of middle managers today has evolved into the linchpin between senior management and employees as never before.”

They are “the victims and carriers of change”, The Harvard Business Review says, in Why Being a Middle Manager is So Exhausting.

Why Middle Managers need relational competencies

Functional mastery and core competencies take a back seat as empathy and relational skills move to the foreground.

Given their complex yet critical role in the middle, middle managers must level up in managing relationships.

As leaders grow in seniority, so do their people-related responsibilities: managing teams, coaching, resolving conflicts. The people issues they handle also become more complex.

Common leadership challenges include:

  • Stakeholder management

  • Delegating and empowering

  • Conflict resolution

  • Inspiring, motivating and driving engagement

  • Talent development and retention

Functional mastery and core competencies take a back seat as empathy and relational skills move to the foreground.

The Harvard Business Review featured a study in which leaders around the world determined that the highest ranking traits of effective leaders are attributes that create a safe and trusting environment.

The things that matter have “less to do with authority and more to do with more basic human needs,” HBR said.

Middle managers need to be moulded in their ability to develop relationships, resolve conflicts, build and restore trust, and reconcile differences.

Relational competencies are foundational for leaders in addressing these issues and being effective in their roles and responsibilities.

“New managers typically receive little to no training in people management, although it is the crux of their job,” Forbes says in The Leadership Skill Everybody Needs — And 90% Of Managers Lack.

Developing crucial relational skills for Middle Managers

ROHEI has developed the Relational Leadership People Managers track to develop trusted and relationally competent leaders. The track is designed specifically for new or experienced managers who lead people and/or teams.

The journey begins with a relational leadership foundational programme, introducing fundamental relational competencies that are common to all leadership levels.

The next phase consists of six core programmes designed to target high priority developmental areas:

  1. Managing Conflict

  2. Coaching for Excellence

  3. Being an Inclusive Leader

  4. Managing Diversity

  5. Leading with Emotional Intelligence

  6. Building High Performance Teams

What our clients say


“They were able to find new solutions to problems and take these lessons with them into the workplace. As such, we have noticed that our leaders and people have developed greater psychological maturity and are able to rise to the challenges they faced in the workplace with greater confidence.”



"Now that we’ve been back in the office for a couple of days, I’m already seeing instances where my officers are applying the lessons learnt at ROHEI both by initiating conversations on difficult issues, and by responding with empathy and a genuine desire to understand the other person’s perspective and feelings. I’m so heartened to see this shift and I am confident that the ROHEI programme will make us an even stronger team. Thank you for this amazing gift."




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