• Attila Gursel

LIFE IS GOOD FOR A MANAGER (OR NOT?)


Management is the art of making others do things willingly. Anyone who has to achieve goals by guiding others' efforts through team power is practicing a type of management. Every institution has its own rules and principles that do not differ much from each other. These principles and concepts serve to keep institutions together. In general, eight main principles of management can be mentioned:


To what extent these principles are followed also reveal the styles of leaders and managers. The general acceptance is that there are four different styles that managers practice.


Authoritative managers; they tell their subordinates what to do and expect them to obey them, no questions asked. Autocratic leaders believe that force is necessary, and control and threaten employees in order to motivate them. Their strength is their determination and weakness is their failure to motivate others.

Participative managers; they allow their subordinates to participate in decision-making, but they still reserve the right to say the last word. They respect each other's technical expertise and contribution to work with their subordinates. They believe that employees want more responsibility within the organization. This style increases job satisfaction but slows down the decision making process.


Democratic managers; they try to apply whatever the majority of their subordinates’ desire. They value compliance more than efficiency and use logical approach and detailed explanations to guide employees.


Laissez-Faire managers; they are not interested in the work of their team. This style can only work on teams consisting of highly specialized and well-motivated employees, such as scientists, where leadership needs are at a minimal level.


We can summarize some of the features required to be a good manager as follows:


1. Be willing to make changes: You should not resist the decisions made by senior management and give support through your share of the work, which will be reflected in the way you conduct business. A negative attitude will cause you to lose your reputation in the eyes of your managers. Rather than complaining about change by longing for the good old days and the usual ways of conducting business, focusing on the opportunities that this change will bring is a more constructive and contemporary approach. As a manager, you should adopt this approach even if you come across certain situations where you have trouble adapting to change; avoid sharing it with your employees. This is because a person who complains about the conditions to his subordinates can never be a good manager. The duty of a leader is to clarify the unknowns to the employees and make it possible to overcome such situations. To accomplish this, ask your team three questions: What are the characteristics that made you successful in the past? What are your goals and what are the obstacles that block your path in reaching those goals? How do we overcome the obstacles and reach our goals with the characteristics that made us successful in the past?


2. Encourage Mutual Dependency: The common and absolute correct understanding used to be, “If everyone does their job well, the company's business goes well”. However, starting from the 1990s, the horizontalization of organizations and the matrix management approach that requires employees to be connected to more than one manager enables employees to perform at a high level only by establishing rapport with each other. It is necessary to build rapport with not only the members of the same team but also different teams and departments to even consider synergy. The two most important complaints of senior management regarding employees are as follows: They fail to see the big picture. They are not concerned with the monetary consequences of what they do. If you want to avoid complaints in both matters and gain the appreciation of your managers, direct your team to work in cooperation with other teams. Talk positively about other team managers and teams with whom you work with within the organization. Do not mention the inadequacy of other teams and their managers either explicitly or implicitly. The biggest obstacle in developing mutual dependency is ego conflict. Avoid such conflicts with other team managers. Three suggestions to promote mutual dependency:

-In case of disagreement with other departments, first try to understand the problem.

-Ensure that potential conflicts that may arise between employees or teams are not conflict of personality, but conflict of opinion.

-Train your team.


3. Create a Trusting Environment: The highest form of human motivation is trust. You are responsible for providing a sense of trust within the team. In order to achieve this; it is necessary to have self-confidence, to be perceived as trustworthy and to trust others. A low level of trust among employees in a business environment will slow down the speed of doing business. This situation will increase costs. Energy will be focused on work, not relationships in an environment which is dominated by trust. Take the following three steps in its entirety if you want to create an atmosphere of trust within your team,

Protect the right of those who are not among you at the time.

Show interest in those who are a part of your team as human beings.

Be true to your word.


4. Be Optimistic and Constructive: Optimism does not mean naivety to ignore obstacles. Being optimistic is being constructive. Your job as a leader is to find a solution. Every manager creates an effect in the environment that they enter. Some managers bring happiness when they leave, while others bring happiness when they arrive. In order to be a manager that brings happiness with their existence, you must energize your employees, enlighten them and their paths. This is possible by capturing your employees' truths, focusing on their strengths and making them feel valuable, explicitly or implicitly. In order to preserve and improve your optimism; speak positively, monitor your anxiety and control your emotions.


5. Impress and Persuade: Creating an impact in corporate life is different from trying to persuade another person in a one-to-one relationship and may require using different methods altogether. Ways to make an impact are:


Corporate awareness: You can persuade key people within the organization to influence others in order to provide support for your own ideas. Do not expect to get results from this approach when there is a clear and concrete obstacle, such as impossibilities due to the budget. Develop relationships: Take time to get to know the people you need to receive support from personally. This approach will not be fruitful with subordinates and with people that differ widely in terms of age, interests, and social infrastructure. It will not be beneficial if it is perceived as insincerity by the other party.


Understanding in human relations: Getting results will be easier if you focus the conversation on the concerns of the other person and by expressing that you understand them. This approach will not work; in crisis situations, if the other party has doubts as to the sincerity of the person or when the decision has to be based entirely on objective criteria.

Negotiation: You should negotiate and produce alternative solutions to satisfy both parties when solving problems that arise from conflict of interests between other department managers and yours. If there is a conflict of interests, instead of producing an absolute correct solution, find the solution that will create the least discomfort. This approach is not very useful in relationships with superiors and people who work together on a regular basis.


Persuasion through logic: This method, which is the only and unique method for many, involves persuading people by putting forward relevant data and concrete and measurable information. If the other person makes an excuse every time by saying “but”, they might be implying something other than what they are suggesting. This approach will not be effective if for example the person whose support is requested, has personal relationships with others or if the application that needs support harms private interests.


Just as there are cases where each of these methods may apply, there are also conditions where all of them will be ineffective. No matter what method you use, take into consideration these three points:

-Be aware that there is no single influencing strategy for every individual and every situation.

-Remember that every influencing strategy has its limits.

-Take into account the goals, opinions, interests and expectations of others.


6. Make a Decision and Apply: “The right decision” and “the easy decision” are different from each other. Every problem has a fast, easy, cheap and wrong solution and this solution will create the basis for the next problem. What is needed is to make "the decision that serves the purpose" as quickly as possible. A delay will make the decision meaningless. It is not possible to reach an absolute right decision in cases where there is a conflict of interests. Being the referee in disputes between subordinates is the biggest mistake that can be made. You have to accept that your decisions cannot please everyone. You can't actually please anyone by trying to please everyone. Decision-making involves uncertainty. When making a decision, be aware of the uncertainties before you. Bear in mind the following three points during the decision making process;

-Take pressure into account.

-Prepare an alternative plan.

-Take responsibility.


7. Delegate: The delegation itself is a task that needs to be organized and is time-consuming. Some managers in this situation come up with the idea “I will take care of it myself rather than dealing with explaining it to someone else” and as a result of this erroneous attitude, the following is experienced:

-They have to deal with all the details themselves, they cannot apply the necessary importance, care and time to the actual work they have to do,

-They are exposed to stress and even exhaustion syndrome by working for long hours,

-They cause a decrease in the morale and motivation of employees,

-They cause the work to be slowed down as well as a reduction in quality.

On the other hand, a manager who is aware of the importance of delegating and that is able to achieve it;

-Can focus on priority issues and works more efficiently in this way,

-Improves employees' business skills,

-Improves maturity and increases self-confidence by encouraging employees to take responsibility,

-Improves the sense of trust within the team

Incorrect attitudes towards delegation:

-Having the unpleasant and troubled parts of business completed by subordinates

-Failure to receive or give feedback on the work transferred to the subordinate; not doing a follow-up on the subject and then waiting for it to be completed,

-To believe that they are not responsible for the work they delegated,

There are two issues that cannot be delegated: The first is performance evaluation, the second is a meeting with a subordinate who must leave the job.

The three main issues to be taken into account when delegating are:

1. Assign the right job to the right person

2. Delegate authority along with responsibility for the duty,

3. Follow-up with your subordinate.


8. Improve the Efficiency of Meetings: Meetings are one of the biggest losses of time in business life if they are not well managed and take too long. The agenda of the meeting, which clearly states the duration, purpose and the procedures of the meeting should be sent to the participants in advance. A meeting should not be overloaded with an agenda that exceeds the decisions that can be considered and taken during that meeting. It is necessary to organize the meeting place according to the content of the meeting. It is a dangerous situation if everyone agrees or seems to agree. Contrary to general belief, efficient and synergistic meetings are meetings where there is a difference of opinion and where contradictory ideas clash. Conflicts in which the parties defend their opinions, not themselves, are called business conflicts. You can apply the following three methods to make meetings effective:

-Do not go beyond the purpose and the agenda of the meeting.

-Make an effort to make eye contact with each participant during the meeting.

-Assign a person to take notes during the meeting and distribute them to the participants the next day.


9. Listen more: One of the most important risks of moving up within a corporate structure is to start believing more and more that “you are right”. For this reason, managers tend to talk rather than listen, and explain rather than understand. It’s useful to show that you approve with a nod of your head, to turn towards them and lean forward in order to encourage a person when listening to them. It is necessary to avoid using negative body language signals, such as crossing your arms, being busy with other things and not making eye contact. During a conversation, check and make sure you understood the point the other person is trying to get across when the conversation progresses or reaches an important point by asking questions such as "this is what I understood from what you said, ... is it true?" or "what you expect from me, is that ...?". One of the most common poor listening habits is to think ahead about the answer you will give instead of listening. Likewise, assuming that you can read their mind, believing that you already know how the sentence will end or only listening to and thinking about the parts of the conversation that concern us, are among the most common listening disabilities. To improve your listening skills:

-Remember your purpose for communicating.

-Listen to understand, not to agree.

-Listening indicates that we value the person but it doesn’t mean we agree with them.

-Focus your attention on “what the other person wants to say”.


10. Give Feedback: Receiving feedback from managers is the most important necessity for employees. Feedback allows: it ensures that the need to be "noticed" and "recognized" is met by being aware of the opinions of superiors about their performance by the employee. It helps them take responsibility for their performance. It allows them to focus their strength in the right direction. It helps career development. Positive feedback empowers the employee. To be noticed and appreciated is everyone's need. The person shares this with their family and their immediate circle and will be proud. They will take on more responsibility. A successful leader will convey negative feedback by using an appropriate language and with minimal harm to self-esteem and by ensuring that the employee acknowledges that they should use this information for their own benefit. When giving feedback, remember that performance is evaluated, not personality. For this reason, be careful to use expressions about behavior, not personality. Avoid labeling with adjectives such as “careless”, “messy” and “irresponsible”. There are three points to take into consideration when giving appropriate feedback:

-Listen first.

-Pay attention to your attitude and the words you use.

-Master basic communication techniques (effective listening, asking questions, empathy).


11. Understand Motivation: Motivation is the desire to do and maintain a job. It is divided into two as internal and external source. Internal motivation, to a great extent, relies on the innate accumulation that they bring along with them. Opportunities such as rewards, bonuses, premiums and promotions can be counted among the external factors that motivate the employee. These have a temporary effect on internal motivation. Although they create satisfaction for a while, they lose their importance by turning into a habit over time. When you ask employees "why do you work", the answer you receive is often "money" or something that points to it. Even so, studies have shown that money is less of an important factor for people living above the poverty line. Although the degree of importance varies from person to person, success, appreciation, the job itself, responsibility and the desire to self-improve all come before money. Therefore, it is extremely wrong to regard money as the single most important motivation tool. The biggest mistake a manager can make is to believe that the motivational element that is important for them is also valid for all of their employees and to act in this direction. It is difficult to motivate employees, but it is very easy to break their morale and curb their enthusiasm for work. Failure to keep promises, to treat the people you work with as replaceable goods, to change the working conditions arbitrarily, for the manager to present themselves as a spokesperson for senior management, will easily curb the enthusiasm of employees. Three tips to help you motivate employees:

-Choose the right employee.

-Share your achievements.

-Help your employees to develop themselves.

12. Supervise Performance Regularly: Performance management differs from performance evaluation. Performance evaluation is conducted twice a year; it often goes beyond its true meaning and turns into a note-giving and note-taking practice. Nonetheless, performance evaluation is the act of making performance valuable. The manager must regularly supervise performance in order for this to realize. The basis for this is feedback. Regular feedback on performance will give important clues to the employee to understand what is expected of them and to act in that direction. Performance evaluation will be very troublesome for a new manager, especially if it is to be conducted with a weak and inadequate employee. You can request that the person evaluates themselves during a meeting with a weak employee. You can achieve this by asking them to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 10. People often evaluate themselves more mercilessly than others. Even if your employee finds themselves to be wrongfully successful, being aware of this will guide you on how conduct your conversation with them. Firstly, focus on positive behaviors and state the characteristics that you expect should continue, then list your expectations. Instead of using direct expressions like "You should have done this", "You should have said this”, continue talking using phrases such as " Would the result be different if it were like this? " or “This will make me happy”. Be sure of what the employee understands at the end of the conversation. Three suggestions to make your team successful and making it consistent:

-Plan the performance interview and stick to it.

-Be aware of time, don’t allow anyone to enter the room and put through phone calls.

-Use the SGAR method (S)ituation, (G)oal, (A)ttitude and the (R)esults obtained.

-Focus on strengths, don't be threatening.


13. Focus on Strengths, Catch the truth: The traditional method based on “catching mistakes”, that is, warning and informing people of what they are doing wrong and how they should do it when you catch people’s wrong and faulty behaviors will defeat its purpose when it turns into a basic education and development philosophy. A person who is constantly interfered and reminded about their mistakes will feel inadequate and bad. Try to catch the truths of your subordinates, not their mistakes, and give feedback about them. Keep in mind that none of your subordinates can be good in all areas. Three suggestions for you to focus on strengths and catch the truth:

-Remember that your focus is your truth.

-Do not try to make everyone successful and sufficient in everything.

-Be warm and approachable. Everyone will be impressed by people who are warm, approachable and those who value them.


14. Set apart those that fail: There are four main reasons for poor performance:

1. Employees may lack knowledge and skills.

2. Their knowledge and capabilities may be insufficient.

3. They may not be fully equipped to work.

4. There may not be enough of an incentive.


The employee may be doing their job unlovingly and unwillingly.

Observe your employees carefully for a week and you will notice that they fall into one of the following four categories:

-Those who drag along

-Those that happily sleep on the job

-Critics

-Troublemakers


As a business leader, your duty is to create excitement and a sense of meaning for those “that happily sleep on the job” and to ensure that they are mostly included in the “those that drag along” group. Similarly, you need to show that you value “critics” and take time and listen to their thoughts. Thus, you can both get their opinions and suggestions, which you can benefit from, as well as increasing loyalty in this group and adding them to the "those that drag along" group. To continue working with a subordinate who is a part of the “troublemakers” group, will have unintended consequences that will harm you, your team and your organization. An unsuccessful employee is also an unhappy one. You have no right to condemn them to misery. Therefore, give them the opportunity to work and be happy in a place where they will feel successful. The three lessons to be drawn from the suggestions above are:

-Remember that the person's attitude will not change.

-Set an example for your employees.

-Do not damage the dignity and respectability of the person that you dismiss.

15. Speak with Strength: As a manager, you will often be asked to give speeches in front of communities of varied numbers. It is enough to be yourself and follow our suggestions to express yourself to your subordinates and other colleagues. In order to be a speaker that convinces others, you must first believe in what you say. Always stand upright while standing or sitting. Let your arms loose and continue talking with natural gestures. Speak with a soft expression and a smiling face. Address your subordinates by their names. Maintain direct eye contact with the audience in a balanced way throughout your speech. Don't keep your tone of voice constant. Make sure that what you say is clear and understandable. Avoid talking too much. Do not provide unnecessary information. When you talk to your subordinates collectively, avoid accusing them, threatening them, or using explicit or implicit statements that may cause concern. If there is someone that needs to be warned, talk to them alone. Three things to take into account in order to make a powerful speech:

-Include the whole group in the conversation. Giving an interesting statistical information, then asking a relevant question and starting the conversation by having the audience speak, will also relax you as well as them.

-Use audiovisual materials.

-Pay attention to the beginning and the end. Specify what you will be talking about first and state what you talked about at the end.


Result: As a manager, you need to direct your energy and attention to business results as well as human relations. You can base your authority on power or knowledge. If you base your authority on power your tools will be; threatening, catching mistakes, saying what can and cannot be done, giving orders, directives and punishments. As a result, your subordinates will appear to be working when you are around, and procrastinate when you are not. You will often complain, "I’ve said it over and over again, it’s still not happening". If you base your authority on knowledge and competence, your tools will be catching the truth, focusing on strengths, making the employees talk to find the truth and inform you, rather than telling them. As a result, your subordinates' efforts and motivation to work will be less affected by your presence or absence.


Just because you’re a manager, you should not forget that you represent the management. You cannot say, "What should we do, you are right, but those higher up want it," about the decisions of the senior management that do not make your employees happy. You will become a messenger, not a manager when you speak in such a way. You need to empathize with the concerns of your subordinates, but at the same time, you should create an approach and use persuasive facts that will explain that the decision is in the interests of the whole organization and all employees in the long run, and make your subordinates believe it.

#job #manager #leader #principle

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