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Articles  
Managers - Transcending Roles
 
 
  SECTIONS
Introduction
Dilemma of the "rookie manager"!
Role ambiguity
Learning to evolve
Building strong teams is a hand -on- process
Delegate more effectively
Delegating is all about trusting
Getting it right!
Goal orientation
Building communication skills
Stitch in time
Lending the helping hand
Back to basics
Welcome change

Often new managers are challenged with numerous non-technical responsibilities for which they are not formally trained. This is mainly in the area of "people skills". Since management skill is critical to every activity, they need to be leaders. Only then can they maintain productivity and high performance. Managers nevertheless, evade this people management role, as they are unsure of how to "develop" their employees into better employees.


Dilemma of the "rookie manager"!


Top

As a successful individual contributor the young new manager or "rookie manager" is an achiever who has mastered all technical aspects. Yet, after taking higher responsibility in a managerial position, he is plagued with fears of credibility. These fears pertain to how he can manage former peers and get the desired results.


Role ambiguity


Top

A manager needs to understand his new role and its importance to the organization.

Most organizations promote employees based on their technical competence and individual achievements in the current job. They fail to realize that a technically excellent employee need not necessarily be an efficient manager, more so a leader.

The problem is intensified when the manager in his new role fails to understand that it is not personal goals and achievements but enabling others, especially his subordinates to achieve theirs is what counts. He needs to learn to put the team's interest above his own.


Learning to evolve


Top

One of the basic questions new managers should ponder over is: "How can I make this a better place to work?"


Building strong teams is a hand -on- process


Top

A new manager needs to realize his potential as a leader to be able to motivate and provide leadership to friends, former co-workers and successfully manage and lead them.


Delegate more effectively


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A "rookie manager" has reservations in delegating work or authority to his staff. This reluctance stems from various insecurities like the fear of losing credibility, fear of resentment from former peers and fear of losing visibility. He needs to learn that by effective delegation he can provide his team umpteen opportunities for their growth.


Delegating is all about trusting


Top

By delegating unfamiliar tasks to trained persons, he can exploit his team's potential strengths. Delegation enables one to take risks and trust team members, which is crucial to build confidence among people. The payoff is in its successes.


Getting it right!


Top

Managers generally work without being aware of their own behaviour. Displaying erroneous conduct results in sloppy work and hinders team development. Managers should not undermine their own ability or display arrogance in their conduct. A manager projecting a positive and confident self-image facilitates excitement among his staff.

Since staff members emulate them, managers should project professionalism and enterprise in their demeanor. They should take initiatives rather than acting as middlemen between the boss and the team.

The new manager should be well prepared in unpleasant matters like layoffs to avoid awkward situations. He should be well informed and equipped to handle all queries and possible reactions.


Goal orientation


Top

Rookie managers often feel more productive cracking technical problems, which could become a professional norm. As a result they neglect team interactions, strategic planning and effective implementation. A manager, who is constantly fighting fires, conveys to his staff their inability to solve problems.
As a leader he needs to make real decisions. He should review work by thorough probing. In a traditional review the focus is on results but rookie managers need to check out matters like anticipated trends, competitors' responses and growth prospects.


Building communication skills


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A first time manager must be comfortable in his new role and keep open communication systems up and down the hierarchical ladder. Confiding his fears in his boss will help the manager overcome his insecurities.
Developing respect and a level of comfort (at all levels) by informal meetings, team building workshops and other personal development programmes within the organization is essential.


Stitch in time


Top

Problems addressed at the earliest are most beneficial. For example, an employee struggling with his performance or displaying wrong behaviour would give way to frustrations, which can have serious repercussions. Discussing the problems at a later stage would make the employee more defensive and critical. Employees should not mistake constructive feedback as criticism but as an opportunity to learn and grow.


Lending the helping hand


Top

Professional aid is sometimes necessary to help managers. However, due to constraints of time and finances most companies do not offer such help. It is the responsibility of senior managers to train their new managers to successfully handle complicated situations.
Use Organizational Development interventions like

Survey feedback - by way of questionnaires
Team building workshops in key areas
Management by objectives

Back to basics


Top

Organizations would have the competitive edge if they help managers at all levels to develop their skills and use them effectively. Most of these skills are fundamental but managers tend to overlook them. Mastering these basics would result in bright managers and successful organizations.


Welcome change


Top

To overcome complexities, commitment of top management and active participation of the employees is very important. Changes are constant and these enable an ongoing learning system.


 
 

 

 
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