Managing My Department

Dave Newsletter As the manager, you set the targets and in selecting these targets you have a dramatic effect upon your team’s sense of achievement. If you make them too hard, the team will feel failure; if too easy, the team feels little. Ideally, you should provide a series of targets which are easily recognized as stages towards the ultimate completion of the task. Thus, progress is celebrated with small but marked achievements. If you stretch your staff, they know you know they can meet that challenge.

How Do You get People to do What you Want?

Life would be easy if we did not have to manage people.

If you want to get something from another human being, you must first do something for them. In other words, you can’t win influence unless you first invest in the relationship.

So before you need something from someone, make it your business to at least get to know them without making any demands. This doesn’t mean invading their privacy, but it does mean making the relationship personal. Unless I show an interest in you as a human being, the relationship won’t work.

If the only time she hears from me is when I want something, then she will form a kind of resistance.

Getting the Task Done

Each time you have an interaction with someone there are two things going on: one deals with the immediate topic, getting the task done, and the second is the way in which every interaction affects your relationship with your employee. It will be advanced, negative or neutral.

Bear in mind that you should not sacrifice the task to the relationship. Similarly, just winning on the task is not good if you have ruined your relationship. You’ve got to do well on both counts.

Instead of saying, “You are wrong,” you must learn to say, “Might there be another way of looking at this?”

It’s about helping the other person save face. And the only way to get anybody to do anything is to make them want to do it. Some people are naturally good at these diplomatic human relations. Sadly, many of us have to learn these skills.

If someone comes in to criticize us or get us to raise our game, under what circumstances would we accept that person’s critique?

That’s easy. If I think someone is really trying to help me then I’ll listen, I’ll engage. On the other hand, if I think someone is just trying to get the job done or make himself /herself look good, I may listen because I need to keep my job, but my heart won’t be in it. My creative energies will be depleted.

Prima Donnas

The most common prima donnas are people who don’t want to be team players at all. If they throw a fit about something, they are not really talking about anything specific; they just don’t want to have to fit in with others.

If one person won’t fit in, the minute you are seen to tolerate their behavior, you, as the leader, have just given permission to everybody else to do things their own way, too. You are better off without a prima donna if their actions ruin the teamwork of the whole group. If you want the benefits of collaboration, you cannot afford to make exceptions.

Are you a domineering boss? There is a natural temptation for people in charge to say, “This is how I deal with people…like it or live with it.” But if you want to influence others, then it’s about what makes them do it, not what gives you satisfaction.

On the other hand, there are bad managers who are so good at relating to people that they never actually get the job done. They are too soft and caring to inspire hard work and positive energy.

Hope this gives you some food for thought!

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