Friday, May 18, 2012

Stay wary of a few mistakes that you could make while becoming a manage

Transiting from the role of an individual contributor to that of a manager, is not always an easy journey. Professionals at this juncture have to make the crucial shift from focusing on their own performance to managing and motivating others towards a common organisational goal. There are a few common roadblocks that most employees encounter in their transition.

#1 ‘Unlearn' the old to master the new
As an individual contributor, achievements usually mean demonstrating individual excellence and meeting objectives set by the manager. The focus was always on individual skills and performance towards individual objectives Learning to let go and trusting others to execute is probably the most common challenge that one faces as a new manager. Failing to let go means taking on additional tasks, which rightly should be distributed amongst team members. This in turn, denies team members the opportunity to perform and take on new challenges. Worse, micro-management results in an erosion of trust, as the manager will be perceived as not letting team members take on tasks independently. The new manager himself is stuck doing the same things he was doing previously with less time to master new skills. Learning to delegate is the key, identify the strengths and weaknesses of team members and then get the right person for each job.

#2 Painting the picture in HD: setting expectations right
Moving to the role of a manager invariably means higher responsibilities and higher levels of commitments, both with internal and external customers. Responsibilities will now include quality work within tight timelines and it becomes extremely important to understand your team's capabilities and accordingly commit to deadlines. Do not fall into the trap of over-committing, which leads to client disappointment and an erosion of trust if deliverables are not met repeatedly. An important role of a manager is to effectively handle expectations from customers and an ability to push back. This however does not mean that the team is not constantly pushed to deliver beyond what they believe is their limits.

#3 Micromanaging v/s mentoring
A certain well-known CEO had once rightly said, "It's your job to set the goal posts at the end of the playing field and then get out of the way, so that the team can score the goals." It's best to give teammates the freedom to execute towards set goals. Monitoring each activity very closely and expecting them to be done exactly the way you would do it, limits the creativity of your subordinates and inhibits the exploring of new approaches. It can also be seen as annoying and creates a mindset of just completing the task at hand rather than seeing how it fits into the bigger picture and producing high quality, relevant outputs.

#4 Bring your Game Face
As a team leader, it is absolutely essential to constantly improve your Emotional Quotient. In today's multifaceted work environment, you will have team members across all age groups and from different backgrounds. Gone are the days when roles depended on the number of years of service and the existence of a clear hierarchy. You have to learn to deal with sensitivities across various age groups, manage egos and motivate teammates while being objective. You must take into account individual aspirations and be sensitive, compassionate and firm to help teammates give their best.

by  mr.vinod shah - Sr. HR Generalist, Govt. Jobs Advisor at Delhi Metro

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