Rabu, 11 Februari 2009

Managing People: Are You Frustrating or Inspiring

. Rabu, 11 Februari 2009

Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
John D. Rockefeller

How good are you at managing people? As a leader you can be joyful and inspiring or frustrating and soul destroying. Let's look at how you can turn managing people into a soul destroying enterprise and then take a look at a few simple actions that can steer you toward inspiring yourself and others.

How To Be A Frustrating Leader

When you got your first management role, you probably had very good intentions about the difference you would make and the results you would deliver. Unfortunately, for many, the extent of their training in managing people is to attend a one or two day supervisory course.

Once the impact of the training is over and forgotten in the rush of day-to-day busyness then the most likely source of influence on how you manage your people is the people you report to. Even if you don't like them as managers, their style will have an indelible impact on how you show up as a leader.

In hundreds of workshops, consistently participants have told me that the things they dislike and are frustrated the most by, in their managers are:

* Think You Must Have All The Answer and Not Ask Others Opinions
* Be More Concerned About Own Needs Than The Needs of Others
* Spend Little Time In Reflection, Self-Insight and Self-Improvement
* Hog The Limelight
* Inconsistent In Behaviour
* Don't Let Your People Have Opportunities to Develop
* Don't Set Clear Targets

As a youngster growing up, you probably said to yourself "I will never do/say/be like my Mom and Dad". Yet, how many times have you heard people say: "My goodness, I sound just like my parents!" And there's the rub.

This is exactly what happens in organizations. You promise yourself that when you become a leader you won't be like your boss - s/he has done a good job of showing you what NOT to do.

However, the people who report to you may well tell a different tale! They may see you as everything you disliked in your boss!

How To Be An Inspiring Leader

Of the hundreds of things you can do to be an inspiring leader here are what are possibly the top five approaches you can use to inspire your people to be at their best.

Focus on Strengths, Minimize Weaknesses: Create a work environment that enables people to focus on using their strengths and to work around their weaknesses. According to research conducted by the Gallup organization, managing people's strengths, is one of the key success levers of any business.

When people are using their strengths, they come into that state of being that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls Flow. In Flow people become absorbed in what they are doing and use their capability to its fullest.

Traditional thinking has been that people should focus on improving their weaknesses. The research, however, finds that getting people to spend a lot of focus on improving weaknesses is fundamentally flawed.

Provide Challenging Work by Delegating Authority and "Sexy" Assignments: Delegating work that provides added responsibility, variety, challenge and enables a higher profile in the organization is one sure way to inspire the people you are managing.

Done well it engages, energizes and improves commitment because people feel they are needed and respected. It also builds your reputation as a person who develops talent and ensures, as word gets out, that you attract stars to your team who want to be a part of the buzz.

Demonstrate the Value of Your Team: You must have impact on those people who hold the keys to the resources and promotional opportunities your team desire. Influence upward well, so that your team is seen in a good light - as a place where winners and many potential future leaders reside.

Regular Face-to-Face Contact: Make sure that on a regular basis you are meeting with your team members. Set aside time to talk about what is working, not working for them in their job. What their goals and aspirations are. What support they need from you in order to make this a great work experience for them.

In survey after survey the number one thing that people wanted from their leader is that they had regular opportunity to talk to their leader about more than just the day-to-day issues.

Walk Your Talk: People need to feel that you are committed to your personally espoused principles/values as well as the principles/values of the organization. Most managers believe they are honest when communicating with and managing people. Yet, most employees don't believe their managers honestly communicate results and requirements.

It is critical that people believe they can rely upon you. If you make an agreement with someone, no matter how small, make sure you stick to it. Nothing will undermine your credibility and integrity quicker than broken promises.

The advantage of consistently using these approaches is that your people will feel good about work and even better you, you will feel inspired about the difference you are making. Oh and by the way, your business results will sky-rocket!

Breakthrough Leadership Mentor, Shelley Holmes has helped thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations to align their potential. How do you rate on the 99 point Manager to Breakthrough Leader scale? Take your self-assessment today: http://www.leadership-and-motivation-training.com/leadership-assessment-tools.html#manager

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