How do we become good managers? David Baker suggests good management comes primarily from who you are as a person and the experiences you’ve had being managed. If you’ve made the right choices as you’ve responded to the circumstances you’ve encountered, there is a higher likelihood that you’ll be a good manager. How do we build this foundation? Baker has provided some tips right here.
Many of us first experience a management position because of a promotion. The first thing we will notice is our promotion will be polarizing. There will be those who support us and those who do not. How do we win our detractors over? First, we should acknowledge that we have detractors. Second, we should avoid actions that give our detractors too much power. No fuel, no fire. Third, we should not insult detractors by using our new position of power and patronizing them. Fourth and finally, we should concentrate on doing the right thing. We are here to manage after all and that should be our focus.
Now how should we act in our new role as managers? Baker has some tips for that as well. First, people want to see our confidence and they want us to be collaborative. Essentially, They want us to chart a direction for the department with just enough detail that they can see the outline of a goal but without so much detail that it looks like we need their acceptance of every little component.
Being a Leader Staff Want To Follow
Baker gives us a range of characteristics we can follow for becoming a leader that people want to follow. Here are a few of them:
- APPROACHABLE. At the heart of approachability is simply a willingness to listen, first, before reacting.
- AUTHENTIC. A leader needs to be the same person on the surface as they are in reality, deep inside. Employees can smell a rat
- CONFIDENT. Here you need a balance. You need enough confidence to inspire those following a leader, but not so much confidence that it leads them astray.
- DISCIPLINED. Leaders are disciplined. That means that they get things done, do what they say, plan, and execute.
- FAIR. A leader’s fairness will most likely show up when he or she is alone with someone else, talking about a third party who isn’t there.
We will all have crises in managerial situations. Baker suggests the first wrong reaction to difficulties we’ll experience is to go into a high control mode. This instinct to control things is our perceived antidote to feeling out of control. We think people aren’t listening to us or aren’t respecting our directives, so we clamp down even harder, hoping to force compliance.
Another wrong reaction is to retreat to an area of greater control or comfort. Remember, hiding behind a comfortable place won’t solve anything. It just puts off the inevitable and makes it even tougher to face once we get around to it.
The third wrong reaction to difficulties we’ll experience is to make friends with employees. That seems like an odd thing to say, but real management duty puts tough situations on our plate. When we deal with them, we can upset people just doing our job. The problem with befriending employees is that we can’t do it evenly, and so some are left out of our inner circle.
Hopefully, with a little bit of the guidance provided by Baker, we can all perform just a little bit better in our managerial situations.