Voice Your Expectations

What is the owner’s view of their store managers? 

The run industry wanted to explore what this means by creating a session at the first-ever Run Congress. This session was titled: Deal Breakers - Attributes Needed for Store Managers Success and Setting Expectations. What does it mean for the owner, what does it look like for brands, and what do managers think? This week, we will look at the owner's view of what these attributes and competencies are for a retail store manager. The top 7 core competencies were as follows in order of importance…

  1. Employee Development/Coaching: Facilitating, supporting, and contributing to the professional growth of others.
  2. Leadership: Organizing and influencing people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction.

  3. Conflict Management: Understanding, addressing, and resolving conflict constructively.
  4. Continuous Learning: Taking the initiative to learn new concepts, technologies, and/or methods regularly.
  5. Interpersonal Skills: Effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people.
  6. Understanding Others: Understanding the uniqueness and contributions of others.
  7. Decision Making: Analyzing all aspects of a situation to make consistently sound and timely decisions.


We often hear from retail business owners that they can’t get out of working in their business because they don’t trust their retail store managers to handle the business how they would. What is interesting is that the three groups that participated in this event agreed on only two core competencies: 

  1. Employee development and coaching
  2. Leadership  

But let us look at Conflict Management… 

If you are a retail store owner and need your manager to have the skill of conflict management, or understanding, addressing, and resolving conflict constructively, because this is something you have to do day in and day out, then it would be good to have training around what that looks like for you and them. Why? Because your manager wants you to trust them, and if you assume they know what it looks like in your head, you are the one creating the distrust. Give them opportunities to show you they can manage conflict.  

Map out what conflict management looks like, and create a list of examples and your expectations. Make sure that as a manager, they see this as a part of their roles and responsibilities.    

To start, look at this list:

  • Determine the source of the disagreement. (create a real example from your day)
  • Determine what is at risk for you. (don’t assume your manager understands what YOUR risk is)
  • Determine the stakes for the other person. (dialogue through different stakes)
  • Examine your current approach to the matter. (let the manager come up with three different approaches based on the example provided)

Don’t forget the other four core competencies, and ensure you and your managers agree that these are a part of their role.  

Next week, we will examine the retail store manager's view of their role.


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