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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Are You A Reluctant, Overprotective OR An Effective Manager?

Are you a reluctant manager or an over protective manager? Do you provide enough space to you team members or are you always breathing on their necks?

These are some tricky questions that even senior managers need to ask themselves from time to time. Irrespective of whether you are leading a small team or managing a large group; as a manager you always need to ensure that you are effective. Being effective is not easy, however one can make it happen by asking for constructive feedback from all stakeholders and then working on the improvement areas. 

How To Enhance Your Effectiveness As A Manager?
Here are some tips that will help you become very effective as a manager:
  • Be upfront in placing opinion
    • Dont be a reluctant manager, be direct in sharing and receiving feedback from your team members. Open and transparent work culture will help you build trust. This will result in long term association and worthy partnerships with all stakeholders.
  • Develop strong business understanding 
    • Invest time and efforts to understand the business of  your company and that of its customers. Strong understanding of the domain will help you create value for your company/ clients and also help you strategize for creation of new services.
  • Share learning with peers 
    • Always believe in the mantra of inclusive growth. Sharing your experiences and learnings with your peers will create an atmosphere of companionship/ comradeship. Implementing best practices across groups can result in win-win outcomes for all groups. More collaboration and sharing best practices for overlapping areas may also result in identification of new business opportunities.
  • Help team members grow 
    • Sometimes in order to give their best outputs the team members need to come out of the shadow of their managers. Less hand-holding may help the team members grow; provide them opportunities for front facing and leading. Let them learn by making mistakes, don't be an overprotective manager. Be more open with more distribution of responsibilities.
  • Skip Level Meetings
    • Communicate deep down in your hierarchy and talk to team members at all levels; dont just restrict yourself to your direct reports. Don't be confined to your cubical. Talk to people around you. Skip level meetings may be a good way to get connected. Other options can be mentorship forums or informal meetings over lunch or coffee.
  • Fairness on all grounds
    • Giving equal/alike attention to all the team members is one of the key attribute to become an effective manager. Provide them equal opportunities and challenging them equally are very important for their growth. There is a possibility that one of your accounts may be big and may require more attention but that does not mean that you will overlook the other smaller acounts. Remember at the end of the day each business unit or account is made up of team members, each team member is a human and all humans need attention.
  • Focus on Industry trends
    • Developing understanding of changing market trends and focus on industry benchmarking is essential for your success as a manager. Senior managers need to spend time to guage what the industry is shifting towards and then accordingly build a strategy for their account/ department or company. Those who ignore this important aspect get washed out.

As a manager some of these qualities may come to you naturally and for some you may need additional training or coaching. Don't shy away from learning. Attending a training program or a workshop may actually help you get a new perspective. Don't underestimate the power of learning, it doesn't matter whether you are young or old, it doesn't matter whether you are senior or junior; if there is an opportunity to learn, just grab it, don't let it go. Continuous learning, improvement and practice will eventually lead to effectiveness.

To conclude, here is a quote:
Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out - Stephen Covey