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FOUNDATIONS What Does Being a Manager Mean?
Perhaps you've recently earned a promotion to a managerial role after serving as an individual contributor. Or maybe you have a business degree and you're entering the corporate world as a manager. Your role may involve full-time management, or you may have assumed a senior position that involves some management activities along with continued responsibilities as an individual contributor. Whatever your situation, to succeed in your new role you'll need a firm grasp of what it means to be a manager. As many businesspeople have discovered, being a manager is surprisingly complex. It requires you to widen your focus—to look beyond the immediate tasks at hand and consider the needs of people within and outside your group or unit. It also demands a markedly different set of skills than those valued in individual contributor roles. Consider these unique aspects of becoming a manager:

You work through others
An individual contributor is responsible for accomplishing specific tasks. In contrast, a manager focuses on managing people and processes. Even if you continue to be responsible for producing a specific body of work—whether it's being responsible for a number of accounts or developing a new product—you will also need to make things happen by working through others. As a manager you rely on others and their abilities, not yourself and your own skills, to accomplish your company's goals. Moreover, you get things done by managing interactions with a broad range of people. These include not only your direct reports, but also your boss, peers, and people outside your organization. Many new managers are surprised by how much time they need to spend on handling the personal interactions required to get work done through others.

You play multiple roles

As a manager, you're more than just a leader who hires, trains, and motivates employees and provides needed resources. Managers play a variety of additional roles as well. These are just a few: Spokesperson: You represent your group to the larger organization.
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Liaison: You ensure positive networks between your group and others both inside and outside the organization. Disseminator: You feed crucial data about the competitive environment and your company's vision and performance to subordinates. You also relay information about your unit's performance and needs to senior managers. Entrepreneur: You initiate projects to improve your unit's processes or profits.
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Mediator: You deal with crises, resolve grievances, and promote agreement within your group and between your unit and others in the organization. Decision maker: You ensure that decisions are made (either by you or in collaboration with others) and then communicated, coordinate the impact of interrelated decisions, and are held accountable for the day-to-day operations of your group.

You network and cultivate relationships
Because your success depends on working through others, you spend considerable time networking and cultivating relationships—on several fronts: With your direct reports: You forge supportive bonds with your employees—recognizing their achievements, supporting their career aspirations, and showing interest in them as individuals.

With your peers: You get to know other managers of units on which your group depends, as well as those who depend on your group. Through these connections, you act as an advocate for your group—procuring the resources your people need to do their work. You also act as a buffer, protecting your people from unreasonable or unnecessary requests made by other departments or teams. Likewise, you work to understand your peers' needs and communicate them to your employees so they can support other units' efforts.

With your superiors: You demonstrate your commitment to meeting your unit's short-term goals as well as the company's highlevel strategy. And you accept personal accountability for your unit— managing it as if it were your own business.

Tools: Identify Your Crucial Contacts and Beginning to Build Your Network To identify key contacts that you'll need to establish within your organization and to begin to build your network, see the "Identify Your Crucial Contacts" and "Beginning to Build Your Network" tools.

You develop a strategic perspective for your group
A key part of your job as a manager is to develop a strategic perspective for your own group. That means understanding your company's high-level strategy and crafting a strategy for your unit or group that supports the corporate plan. All this requires you to: Be aware of your company's "big picture"—its competitive challenges, its long-term plans, and its major strengths and weaknesses.

Adopt a long-term view of the future—for example, what will your group need to contribute to the company three or five years from now?
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Set the agenda for your unit to ensure that your people focus on what's most important. Balance your company's needs and expectations with your staff's emotional and developmental needs.

You develop a new mindset and skill set
The mindset and skills that served you well as an individual contributor differ markedly from those needed in your new managerial role. To develop the right mindset, you need to: Think strategically—developing a compelling vision and strategic plan for your group that enables it to support the company's strategy.
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Think analytically—gathering information systematically, identifying patterns in the problems that crop up, and seeking input from others. Use judgment—making decisions under time pressure and with incomplete information.
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Innovate—generating fresh ideas and combining ideas in creative ways.

and adapt your managerial approach to specific circumstances as well as individuals that you oversee. you may want to visit them in a different sequence. and employees. Using Stepping Up to Management The remaining modules in this program help you build and strengthen your managerial skills. • .In addition to thinking and making decisions differently. you can boost your chances of succeeding. motivating others. leveraging networks and diversity. you probably have already practiced some of these skills. Working Through Others: Learn how to support your direct reports. depending on the specifics of your situation. and coaching and developing others. Use the "Identifying Desirable Managerial Traits" tool to help you identify managerial qualities that you've encountered in your previous job experiences and that you may want to demonstrate in your current position. Although the modules of this program are presented in a linear fashion. and preparing well-written proposals and other communications. fostering teamwork and collaboration. influencing others. being an effective manager is no small feat. While this list of competencies may seem overwhelming. • Leadership—providing direction. Use the results that you received after completing the introductory Priority Assessment to help chart your course. listening to others' ideas. develop quality relationships with each member of your team. you'll need to hone these skills: Communication—fostering open dialogue with bosses. But by taking the time to understand the many different dimensions of this challenging role. • Interpersonal effectiveness—building relationships. if you have led projects or teams in the past. • Tool: Identifying Desirable Managerial Traits Clearly. balance conflicting expectations. delivering effective presentations. peers. and managing conflict and disagreement.

and create a continuous learning path. learn how to make meetings more productive. setting goals. • Evolving as a Manager: Examine your transition into management. When they discover the surprising truths about management. • Supporting Your Boss & Organization: Learn how to support your boss by understanding his or her agenda. and creating opportunities to help employees grow. delegating. • Networking with Colleagues: Discover the importance of cultivating relationships with people both inside and outside your organization. fostering an atmosphere of partnership. How can you avoid this scenario? Familiarize yourself with these common misconceptions about management: Misconception 1: You'll need the same skills as a manager that you needed as an individual contributor The skills that spark success for an individual contributor differ markedly from those needed to manage. For example. are . they may feel dismayed and disillusioned. reflect on how you relate to others. successful sales representatives understands the features and benefits of the products they sell. assessing performance. and developing influence strategies to build and strengthen your network.Managing Performance: Build your skills for managing performance. and aligning those goals with the company's strategic objectives. and determining team performance measures. evaluate your role as a manager and a leader. • Organizing Resources. • Common Misconceptions About Management Many first-time managers enter their new role with inaccurate assumptions. developing team norms and group culture. coaching your direct reports. agreeing on group and individual performance goals. • Cultivating Your Team: Discover the key elements of creating a high-performing team—establishing clear processes. Meetings & Time: Examine the administrative responsibilities that come with your new job. clarifying communication standards. and develop an effective time management strategy. protecting the team from illegitimate or unnecessary requests from the organization.

They will also need to cultivate positive relationships with peer managers and represent their group to the larger organization. And they have more access to important resources. create an environment in which direct reports can excel. and know how to close deals—valuable skills indeed. But as sales managers. Managers have no formal authority over their peers—individuals who greatly influence whether managers obtain the resources or support they need. • Misconception 3: You'll have a lot of autonomy as a manager . and putting the spotlight on their people's success—not their own—constitute additional required skills. managers have far less power than they might expect—for these reasons: Formal authority has severe limitations. Subordinates don't necessarily follow their manager's direction or do as they're asked. and set the agenda for their region. Dealing with crises. They have to know how to work through others. and other perks. After all. many managers have more formal authority. control over budgets and staffing. • • To compete in a global economy. for example. they need an entirely different—and far more extensive—set of talents. Misconception 2: You'll have a lot of power as a manager It's easy to assume that managers have far more power than individual contributors. such as the attention of top-level executives and professional development opportunities. many companies have replaced the traditional corporate hierarchy with horizontal networks and crossfunctional teams. expense accounts. Managers have less formal authority in these structures than in the traditional hierarchy. initiating projects to improve unit performance. They also have higher status— better offices. In truth.knowledgeable about the market and competition.

you can certainly prepare by taking advantage of training opportunities. and what you could do differently the next time. suppliers—to get things done. However. take the time to reflect on these experiences. long-term implications of each decision—for the unit.Many new managers believe they'll have immense freedom to make decisions and take action. Misconception 4: You learn to be a good manager primarily through training To increase your chances of succeeding in your new role. Owing to the complexities of the role. so that you can better see the connections between your actions and their outcomes. customers. direct reports. Be sure to gather feedback from peers. After all. Misconception 5: You'll always feel smart. Your best teacher will be the on-the-job experiences you accumulate as you begin serving in your new role. in control. A manager who is accountable for the group's performance can't freely make unilateral decisions or take immediate action when a problem arises. This is normal. and satisfied in your managerial role Even the most self-assured managers have their moments of frustration and uncertainty. Also. and other people on how you handled various challenges. analyze what went right. Instead. and outside constituents such as customers and suppliers. They also shoulder a whole new set of responsibilities that bear little resemblance to the challenges individual contributors worry about. you can expect to feel some or all of the following once you start the job: • • • • • Constrained by limited resources and time Unsure about whether you can handle the job Overwhelmed by the challenges of leading others Frustrated when direct reports don't do as you ask Annoyed by all the "politicking" you need to do to build influence and get work done . managers have far less freedom than they might have anticipated. what went wrong. you can learn only so much through training. These steps will help you improve your performance and build your confidence. supervisors. they have subordinates to do all the work! In truth. the manager must carefully consider the complex. they depend on numerous other people—peers. in addition to their employees. the company. supervisors. That's because.

You'll find yourself feeling more excited. The payoff? You'll be less likely to experience disappointment when the realities of management hit home. you can start your new job with a clearer picture of what to expect. and fulfilled in your job— though not every minute. competent. these emotions become somewhat less intense. If you haven't already done so. complete the First Step assessment Thinking About Your Expectations (under Overview) to assess your susceptibility to some common misunderstandings about management. . First Step: Thinking About Your Expectations By understanding common misconceptions about the managerial role.With practice and experience.

By familiarizing yourself with potential pitfalls. "What marketplace trends are we seeing that could affect my group this year?" and "What resources does my group need in order to accomplish its goals?" • Prepare written plans for your boss. • You don't Your team cannot hit its set clear targets or achieve its objectives: objectives. Set objectives that are SMART: specific. and time-bound. realistic. Attend management meetings that are open to you and introduce You fail to network You remain ignorant of the issues that managers in . Early on. actionable. New managers are no exception. you don't teach them how to think strategically or handle challenges themselves. create explicit objectives that include descriptions of the desired end result. you can increase your chances of avoiding them. You establish ambiguous or unrealistic goals for your group. and some approaches that may help you avoid making these mistakes. Define objectives that directly support your company's strategy. measurable. How to Avoid Ask yourself strategic questions. supporting actions. their consequences. But for first-time managers. The table below shows typical mistakes. documenting strategic goals and concrete. Consequences You focus on short-term problems instead of longterm goals. such as. the typical mistakes fall into some all-too-recognizable categories.Avoiding Typical Mistakes Anyone starting in a new role or taking on a new challenge is bound to make mistakes. Mistakes in leadership skills Typical Mistakes You lose sight of the big picture: You let fire fighting eclipse strategic initiatives. In terms of your team.

Consequences other parts of the company face. find ways to offer help. How to Avoid yourself to your colleagues. Early successes will build your confidence in them— and their confidence in their own abilities. Empower your direct reports by delegating projects or specific tasks along with the requisite authority to complete them. How to Avoid Break complex projects into manageable chunks with clear milestones. Through meeting with other managers and getting to know their problems and concerns. Take small risks in playing to your staff's strengths. Schedule individual lunches with managers from other parts of the company. Doing so will engage your direct reports and build mutual trust. Consequences Failure to delegate blocks your staff's advancement.Typical Mistakes with other managers: You neglect to build relationships with peers and colleagues in the organization. If you are unsure of their abilities. You lack a set of contacts to rely on for support and resources. You fail to Good performance goes With a trusted colleague or coach. • Mistakes in dealing with direct reports Typical Mistakes You fail to delegate: Under pressure to produce. you take on subordinates' tasks because you fear losing control or overburdenin g others. . They can become resentful —then disengage. start with lower risk projects.

and direct reports. When you have information that your boss needs to keep from being blindsided. How to Avoid Ensure that you have clearly communicated your goals to your boss and peers. and you lose your credibility in the minds of your boss. Mistakes in dealing with your boss Typical Mistakes You neglect to keep your boss informed: You keep your boss in the dark about problems or issues facing your group. Consequences You destroy some of your boss's trust and confidence in you. give your boss a "heads up. When you have information about impending problems.Typical Mistakes give constructiv e feedback: You neglect to applaud good performance and avoid correcting inadequate performance. You don't keep your group informed: You provide incomplete information or fail to share knowledge with your group. deliver the information to him or her as soon as you can. and you fail to garner the help you need to accomplish your goals. How to Avoid role-play giving feedback centering on behaviors and their consequences. Consequences unrecognized and positive work behaviors are not reinforced. Performance problems don't get fixed." . You deprive your staff of Establish a formal communication information they need to do system to keep track of decisions their jobs effectively. Remind yourself that constructive feedback strengthens employees' skills and encourages more effective ways of working. Ensure that your group receives information about your company's competitive situation and challenges. peers. not personalities. that are made and action items that are pending.

rather than in partnership.Typical Mistakes You don't ask for help: You view yourself as in servitude to your manager. You don't project confidence: You come across as timid. Consequences You fail to gather the resources and support from your boss that you need in order to be successful in your job. direct reports. Therefore. Consequences You can't see the connections between your actions and their consequences. you can't modify your behaviors to achieve the results you want. you don't ask for help. supervisors. and other people with whom you work. Mistakes in personal development Typical Mistakes You fail to receive feedback: You do not gather feedback about your performance. Express any feelings of insecurity to your boss—behind closed doors. Network to meet other managers in the organization so that you can turn to them later for help. . Cultivate constant awareness of the image you're projecting. Prepare agendas for your regular meetings to help organize your thoughts about what you need. Your peers may take advantage of you or fail to respect you. Create a system for gathering feedback about your performance from your peers. How to Avoid Be open to feedback and acknowledge that you can learn from mistakes. How to Avoid Bring up problems during meetings with your boss. or You don't energize your team. uncertain. Resist any temptation to get defensive if someone gives you critical feedback. Offer possible solutions and be prepared to engage in joint problem solving. Explain the purpose of initiatives you're pushing—rather than saying. To avoid seeming vulnerable.

Make an observation about your situation and then continue to probe with the question. and inability to concentrate. Try to determine the root cause of the problem. sleeplessness. You suffer mental.Typical Mistakes nervous about your role." Why? "I'm not delegating enough. irritability. To learn more about common mistakes and to think about your potential vulnerabilities to some key pitfalls. and emotional exhaustion and become internally focused (focused on how you think." Master relaxation techniques that work for you—whether it's yoga. clarify priorities and define strategies for ensuring that your nonwork commitments are fulfilled. your and spiritual commitments personal at risk. Consequences How to Avoid "Senior management has mandated these changes. be sure to complete the Activity section in this module. feel. You neglect You put family. . "I just snapped at one of my direct reports. etc." With family and community members. community. physical. Learn the symptoms of "bad" stress —such as headaches. "Why?" For example." Why? "I'm tired and was not thinking clearly. life: Consumed by your new job's demands. Review your calendar periodically and determine whether you are devoting enough time to personal matters.) rather than engaging in the events and activities taking place around you. meditation. You don't cope with stress: You don't spot the symptoms of debilitating work-related stress." Why? "I've been working late and have too much to do. you fail to protect your personal life. or playing a vigorous sport.

Learning From Experience
As a new manager, you need to master the many nuances of your role. Formal training helps. For example, management training programs can acquaint you with corporate policies, procedures, and resources, as well as help you forge valuable connections with peers in a classroom setting. However, formal training can only take you so far. You will want to apply the theoretical frameworks that you learn to your actual job. Thus, your best teacher will be the on-the-job experiences that you accumulate as you transition into your managerial role. But learning from experience isn't easy: It requires its own set of attitudes and skills. The best experiential learners apply these practices:

Adopt a learning mindset
Adopting a learning mindset means seizing learning opportunities that come your way—or making your own opportunities. It also means being willing to move out of your comfort zone into unfamiliar areas. For example, if your negotiating skills need improvement, you might take the opportunity to observe expert negotiators in action and note their approaches to managing the different stages of a negotiation. After that, you might work with a mentor to try your hand at managing a smaller scale negotiation, such as a meeting between you and several fellow employees whose collaboration is needed to get a job done. Assuming a learning mindset will not only help you master new challenges, but also push you beyond your current skill set.

Practice the art of reflection
Learning from experience requires the ability to reflect on workplace events in a structured, disciplined way. Events make sense only when you stop and think about what they mean, how they connect, and what patterns they reveal. Reflection puts events into a new and clear perspective and enables you to identify ways to improve your performance. Admittedly, it's difficult to take the time to reflect when you're facing an already overwhelming workload. But without reflection, you fail to evaluate and systematically learn from your performance. To take a disciplined approach to reflection, regularly ask yourself what you've learned from your day-to-day experiences. Be sure to reflect on events that were carried out well in addition to ones that didn't go so well. For instance, at the end of every week, analyze your key experiences during that time. Ask yourself, "What

went well? How can it be sustained? What didn't go so well? How can it be improved? What lessons can I extract from this experience and apply to other situations?" The Reflections section of this program is designed to help you take the time to reflect and learn in a periodic and structured way.

Find and exploit valuable learning experiences

Seek out workplace experiences that will help you better contribute to your company's strategy. Such experiences might include managing a special cross-functional task force that's exploring a new technology, or leading a team that's investigating new sales techniques. Look especially for experiences that allow you to master and apply skills that your company values. Linking your learning to your organization's strategy makes you a more focused, effective manager. As an added benefit, you will probably find it exciting to have a clear line of sight between what you're doing on the job and how your company is performing.

Be open to feedback
To learn from on-the-job experiences, you need feedback—from superiors, peers, direct reports, and external constituents such as customers or suppliers. This broad and deep feedback can help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses, and how others see your leadership style. Of course, feedback can be painful. For example, one new manager was shocked to learn from an internal survey that his employees viewed him as aloof and intimidating. But feedback is an essential tool for extracting lessons from your workplace experiences. It helps you see gaps between what you intended to accomplish in a particular decision or situation and what you actually accomplished. Once you've identified these gaps, you can more easily modify your behavior to produce the outcomes you desire. To get the most honest, valuable feedback, you need to make others want to give it. Send the signal that you're willing to hear—and seriously and consistently consider—what others have to say about you. Ask for specific comments, suggestions, and feedback in areas that you are attempting to improve. Avoid becoming defensive if what you hear is disturbing. Most

important, express your appreciation to those who give you feedback and put relevant feedback to use. If others see that you act on the feedback that you receive, they will be more inclined to give you constructive, candid feedback in the future.

Learn from your peers and mentors
Forge mentoring relationships with peers outside the usual reporting hierarchy. You'll encounter diverse leadership styles and viewpoints, gain opportunities for reflection, and gather additional feedback on your performance as a manager. Indeed, some experts maintain that new managers learn the most from their peers. Former peers who have moved on to other organizations can also help you learn from experience. In fact, some new managers feel more comfortable asking these individuals for their insights. Why? In a highly politicized organization, a manager may fear revealing shortcomings to current peers who might intentionally or inadvertently use the information against him or her. Tools: Finding a Mentor and Developing a Support Network of Peers Mentors or coaches can also help you master the art of reflection and experiential learning. Consider establishing a mentoring or coaching relationship with a trusted individual in your company or with an outside professional who can help you. To develop a plan for extracting valuable lessons from your workplace experiences, see the "Finding a Mentor" and "Developing a Support Network of Peers" tools.

For example. • Assess any cultural challenges. you'll need to know how to go about changing it. you will need to clarify your group's priorities and concerns. To this end. first identify the urgent needs of your group. and challenges.Planning Your Immediate Learning Agenda As you grow in your managerial role. work together. and understand how your group's activities fit within the organization. if your group has a more cautious or subdued culture. you'll need to identify your immediate learning agenda—the knowledge and skills you need to quickly master in order to begin making a contribution. In that case. your employees will need to feel comfortable taking some risks and enjoy exchanging ideas. priorities. But in your first days on the job. For example. Some might also be concerned that the proposed design will not provide the desired customer experience and ask that you champion a review of design specifications. you'll uncover what they view as your group's primary goals. if your group is launching a new website. As you build your learning agenda. Clarify your team's perceptions. Then. if innovation is key to your company's competitive strategy and your group's immediate goals. Identify your group's immediate needs and any obstacles Is your group or unit charged with getting a new product or project off the ground? Is it facing a crisis and in need of a turnaround? Does it have to revitalize a service it provides? Is it striving mainly to preserve its already successful track record? To identify your group's immediate and urgent needs. your employees may share the view that their primary challenge is to meet tight deadlines. gauge your ability as a manager to help your group meet their immediate needs—and what skills you need to acquire quickly. and urge you to bring in additional resources. As you get to know your employees. you'll need to be strategic—you will want to prioritize what learning will make the biggest difference the soonest. Ask yourself whether your group's culture—the way people make decisions. • . assess your group's cultural challenges. Talk to each member of your team about his or her specific responsibilities to get a complete picture of their immediate concerns. you'll strive to constantly use your workplace experiences to build your knowledge and skills. and handle problems—supports the group's efforts to achieve its goals.

observe the way people interact. Gauge your skills . and to prioritize multiple needs. Your immediate need for networking skills depends on whether your group is highly interdependent with other units in your company. work with your supervisor to clarify priorities. Now you need to meet with your supervisor to confirm whether his or her take on your group's immediate needs is the same as yours. you may need to hone conflict resolution skills or negotiating skills. your group's current culture. Understand your group's place in the organization. your team's perceived needs. • You'll also want to quickly identify cross-functional tensions. If there is a disconnect between what you and your supervisor consider urgent.To assess your group's culture. Do they work well together as a team? Feel comfortable disagreeing with one another? Make decisions effectively? Follow through on action plans? Determine whether the group embodies the culture needed to be successful or if the cultural environment is an obstacle. On whom do you depend to do your work? And who depends on you to do their work? Your answers shed light on the networks of influence you'll need to navigate to succeed as a manager—and to meet your group's immediate needs. Check your observations with your supervisor You've assessed your group's immediate priorities. does your department consistently compete for IT resources? Do IT resources play a part in your group's ability to carry out their tasks? If such competition for resources jeopardizes your group's success. and your unit's place in the company's informal network. For example.

Tool: Planning Your Immediate Learning Needs To begin to prioritize your most critical learning needs. use the "Planning Your Immediate Learning Needs" tool. you may find that you need to obtain resources to support your group. you decide you need to sharpen both your influencing and presentation skills. In this case. As you continue to learn about your group and their needs. This initial learning plan should strategically address your most crucial learning needs. and then develop a plan for achieving the skills and knowledge you've identified. Therefore. Finally. prioritize your learning needs. you may find that a more specific problem. you might decide that networking and repairing this cross-functional tension is your most urgent need.You've assessed your group's immediate priorities and worked with your supervisor to reach a common understanding. could hinder your group's success. . "Given my assessment. you should return to and update your learning plan. Now ask yourself. what skills and knowledge do I need to acquire to begin making a real contribution as quickly as possible?" For example. Or. such as a longstanding rivalry between the engineering and marketing groups.

" the statement may indicate an area of potential conflict (these rows are highlighted). on the other hand." "4.WORKING THROUGH OTHERS First Step: Analyzing Expectations Feedback (Part 2 of 2) The answers that you selected for each statement are listed below. However. Your direct reports will want you to be familiar with their jobs and the tasks that they perform so that you can help them solve their day-to-day problems. When I worked with past bosses. Provide me with the resources I needed to carry out my day-to-day tasks. 2. that might change over time. your direct reports' expectations of you may be different than what you expect. Your supervisor. Moreover." or "5. you may not have potential conflicts with your boss' expectations that are of immediate concern. . If you rated statements a "1" or "2". Read the far right column to better understand the conflicting expectations that you may encounter as a new manager. Be knowledgeable about and skilled in my job so they could help me solve problems. Conflicting Expectations Your direct reports will want you to focus on their immediate needs as related to their day-to-day tasks. will expect you to implement a longterm agenda for your group as well as address its short-term needs. If you rated any of the statements a "3. I expected them to: 1. Your expectations of your past bosses might have been in conflict with other responsibilities your bosses were expected to carry out.

Others might prefer a less-involved management style. Your supervisor. on the other hand. motivating others. . meanwhile. Your supervisor. Define the "big picture" in terms of the group's challenges. and championing change. Some of your direct reports may want you to meet with them on a regular basis to collaborate on ideas and help them work through emotions associated with stressful times. I expected them to: Conflicting Expectations Your supervisor. fostering teamwork. 3.When I worked with past bosses. 4. for example. setting direction for your group. even those interests that are not related to my company's needs. Your direct reports will want you to set the direction for the group and create strategies to meet the group's challenges. Your direct reports will want you to shield them from organizational changes taking place from within the company so they can get their work done. Your supervisor will expect you to divide your time between your direct reports and others in the organization so that you can cultivate a strong network. 6. will expect you to monitor what's going on in the organization and competitive environment. and to update your agenda accordingly. Protect me from major changes taking place in the organization so that I could focus on getting my work done. Your direct reports will want you to create an environment in which their professional and personal needs are addressed and recognized. will expect you to develop your direct reports' skills so that they serve the company first and the direct reports' careers second. meanwhile. and support me emotionally during stressful times. work with me to explore ideas. will expect you to minimize your functional—or individual contributor— skills and focus your efforts on strengthening your leadership skills. 5. Meet frequently with me. Support my personal career interests.

and develop your managerial skills. Act as a liaison . to accomplish your company’s goals. To Learn More To learn more about what is covered in this module. and input on carrying out my work. Your direct reports will want you to be a leader by procuring resources they need to get their work done and by supporting them in their professional development. knowledge. How do you do this? You relinquish the role of doer and embrace the role of people manager. meanwhile. Your supervisor. your primary responsibility is to make things happen by working through your direct reports. Support me and my group by meeting my requests for resources. your first priority is to make things happen by working through others. I expected them to: Conflicting Expectations Your supervisor. You need to rely on your employees and their abilities. network with a broad range of people. craft strategies for your group. click the options on the left above. setting clear direction and goals. will expect you to make any changes necessary to support the company's strategy and direction. Working Through Direct Reports Your job as a manager is multifaceted—you assume multiple roles. creating a supportive environment. However. In the end. 7.When I worked with past bosses. and learning about their individual needs. not yourself and your own skills. on the other hand. your success as a manager is measured by the success of your team. You support your direct reports by serving as a liaison between them and the organization. Even if you continue to work as an individual contributor. will expect you to lead by setting an agenda that furthers your company's interests and by taking responsibility for your group's results.

offer ongoing feedback that is both specific and timely. you listen to suggestions and concerns made by your team and either respond to them or convey them to upper management as needed. Tool: Clarifying Your Group’s Purpose and Goals Provide a supportive environment In addition to setting clear direction and goals. You do this by creating a climate that helps individuals see themselves as valued members of the group and by providing your employees with the resources they need to do their jobs. you also need to provide a supportive environment for your employees. You will also be responsible for aligning your group’s goals to the strategic goals of the company. Clarify your group's purpose and goals To ensure the success of your group. You also filter requests from other parts of the organization so that inappropriate or unnecessary demands are not placed on your group. You will also need to understand and clarify the existing individual goals of your direct reports.One of your responsibilities in managing a group is to serve as a liaison between your direct reports and the organization. you must make sure their work aligns with the objectives of your supervisor and organization. listen to their . you will help establish your group’s priorities and be responsible for translating those priorities into individual employee goals. To ensure your employees know that you appreciate their contributions and are paying attention to their efforts. Simultaneously. Positive words provide encouragement and recognition for a job well done. you will initially want to talk with your supervisor to make sure you understand the overarching purpose of your group and the group’s goals. Over time. When team members offer ideas and opinions. You do this by continually monitoring what’s going on in the company and sharing important information with your team. When you become a manager.

By creating an environment in which people feel supported and enjoy their work. How can you create a foundation of trust and build positive bonds with your employees? The following practices can help: Strive for consistency. you enable both the individuals in your group and your organization to achieve higher levels of success. They know that you have their best interests at heart. Those qualities reinforce your appeal. systems.comments and thank them for their input. Then work with your supervisor to determine how you can provide needed resources cost effectively. help them analyze what happened and apply what they’ve learned to future challenges. • Demonstrate your honesty. Trust is essential to effective relationships: When people trust you. If they make a mistake. Resources include equipment. You also support your employees by acknowledging their desire to grow professionally. training. objectives. technologies. office space. If you don’t know an answer. Developing Rapport. Avoid sending contradictory signals or giving different answers to the same question. and desired results. For each resource need. well informed. Listening shows that you take people seriously and value their ideas. Give them “stretch” assignments that enable them to master new skills. and people. Inconsistency makes employees skeptical of your credibility and competence. View training and development as investments in your employees' future productivity. say so—and promise to investigate. time. Tool: Creating a Supportive Environment To provide your employees with the resources they need. Then consider all the resources that are available to you in the organization. Provide constructive criticism in a positive way. Trust & Respect The quality of the relationships you cultivate with your direct reports is critical to your performance as a manager. which in turn makes people more inclined to support your ideas. identify the expected benefit to your team. Then follow through on your promise. • . make sure you understand your group’s goals. Answer employees’ questions honestly: Don’t pretend you know more than you do. and sincere. they are more likely to see you as believable. They also view you as possessing a strong emotional character (steady temperament) and integrity (honesty and reliability).

Share or give credit to those who contribute good ideas. • Getting to Know Your Direct Reports Whether you are new to the group or company that you are working with. • Build a track record of trustworthiness. As a result. you should take the lead in getting to know your direct reports. When people believe that you have their interests in mind. In your . When you own up to your mistakes. The marketing director knows it's difficult to lose a top-notch team member. they tend to trust you and your ideas more. Present consistent values. or have been promoted to a management position and will now supervise former peers. the marketing director earns the trust of that direct report and also of the other department head—which may come in handy in the future. Establish an environment where everyone can share their ideas and know that their opinions are valued. Listen to others' concerns to encourage dialogue and demonstrate your openness to others' perspectives. you earn a reputation for being trustworthy. • Encourage the exploration of ideas.Accept responsibility for your mistakes. For instance. but accepts that helping others develop their professional skills is part of a manager's job. Follow through on promises and commitments you've made. By behaving in a trustworthy manner. • Put others' best interests first. suppose a marketing director helps a valued direct report get promoted to a different department. people see you as a truthful person—on the assumption that most dishonest individuals try to conceal their faults.

Finally. For example. End the meeting by telling your group that you will be setting up individual meetings with each of them to learn more about their challenges and concerns and that you will hold a follow-up meeting with the group at a later date. If team members are virtual—or physically separated from one another— make every effort to include them in your kickoff meeting. Hold this meeting. if you've recently joined the organization. After introducing yourself. Remember. Prepare for this meeting by listing questions your employees may ask you and then rehearsing responses to each question. ask each employee to do the same. or at least schedule it. your employees may ask you what your perceptions are of the company and its products. obtain a list of your employees’ names and brief biographical information from the human resources group so that you can be familiar with the important work that each of them performs.first few days in your new role. Prepare clear and concise responses—but try to avoid making pronouncements that might give the impression that you think you already know all the answers. hold the meeting in a room that encourages comfort and enables everyone to see one another. your goal is to be an active listener so that you can better understand your direct reports’ concerns. . If possible. you will want to introduce yourself to your group and plan meetings with each of your direct reports. If you've been promoted. You might invite employees to share their thoughts about the challenges that they think the group faces or successes that they are particularly proud of. not you. on your first day on the job. by videoconference. they may ask about your priorities and goals. if your company has the capability. Also prepare a short personal introduction highlighting previous experience that relates to your new job. Keep the conversation focused on them. Virtual teammates can be connected by telephone or. Introduce yourself Your first team meeting sets the tone and serves as your initial introduction to the group.

Meet with each direct report In your first week or two on the job. These initial meetings set the stage for developing a relationship of trust. get to know the person. talk specifically about the person’s job. clarify goals. Let the employee lead the conversation. if asked. Use the “Preparing for Meetings with Employees” tool to prepare for this meeting. Ask open-ended questions— questions that cannot be answered yes or no—about their experiences and interests. Take the time to record your thoughts after each of these meetings: What have you learned about each of your employees? What are their interests and goals? How might these fit into the work the group does? At the second meeting. your goal in these initial meetings is to get to know your employees as individuals and to understand what they consider important. Unless your group is operating in a crisis mode and immediate. meet with each of your direct reports. Prepare for these meetings by reviewing each employee’s job description as well as any resume or job application that may be in his or her personnel file. Questions to ask might include: • • • • • What are your individual performance goals? What challenges do you have in meeting these goals? How can you best be supported in your job? What changes do you think are needed? In what ways do you think that your efforts support the strategic objectives of the unit and organization? . urgent action is required. be prepared to share similar information about yourself. Questions you might ask include: Tool: Preparing for Meetings with Employees • • • • • What do you like about your work? What are your other areas of interest? What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? Where would you like to see yourself five years from now? What are your professional goals? Although your intention is to get to know your employee. and determine whether any support is needed. It's a good idea to plan to have two conversations with each direct report. At the first meeting.

technical skills? Are individual goals aligned with those of the organization? Do team members understand how their work is contributing to the bigger picture? The answers to these questions may reconfirm your expectations of your group. Be open to people’s interpretation of the information and feedback. and themes that emerged from the conversations and ask your team what they think about the conclusions you’ve drawn. issues.After you’ve conducted second meetings with all of your direct reports. analyze the information that you collected to see if patterns or themes emerge. Communicate key findings to your group Share the insights that you gleaned from your individual meetings with your group. Are people generally satisfied in their jobs? Does the group have a broad range of capabilities. Finally. Balancing Conflicting Expectations New managers report that balancing their direct reports’ expectations with those of their boss is one of the most difficult parts of being a manager. . Tool: Capturing Key Insights from Your Meetings Analyze what you learned Once all of your meetings have been conducted. Consider how you can apply what you have learned about their experience and interests during your initial conversations with them. use the “Capturing Key Insights from Your Meetings” tool to record your observations and summarize overall themes for your group. You may want to check your insights with your boss to make sure your preliminary conclusions are correct. as you tackle any issues. Understanding how conflicting expectations arise can help you avoid being blindsided by them—and can help you generate ideas for balancing them. be sure to continue to involve your direct reports. Summarize the key findings. or are team members heavily weighted in one area of expertise—for example. and encourage employees to give their thoughts to how issues can be addressed. Or you may uncover themes that reveal new insights that you were not aware of.

In this case. suppose your team wants you to hire a specialist in a particular database technology to help them carry out a new task involving analyzing customer information. not your individual problems contributor skills Define the “big picture” as the group’s challenges and strategies for addressing them Support their personal career interests. The table shows examples: Issue Time Employees want you to Provide the resources they need to carry out their tasks now Your boss wants you to Set and implement a long-term agenda for your group as well as address short-term needs Skill levels Know more than they do about their Strengthen your leadership jobs. While you have permission to hire one new person. regardless of whether those interests relate to the company’s needs Define the “big picture” as your company’s competitive challenges and strategies for addressing them Help your people develop skills that serve the company’s needs first and their career interests second The "big picture" Professiona l developme nt . so you can help solve their skills. you’ve determined that it would be better over the long run to bring in an instructor for three days to teach your team how to use the technology and analyze the information themselves—and use the open position to hire an additional team member who is not a specialist. Understand differing perspectives Many instances of conflicting expectations stem from supervisors’ and employees’ differing perspectives on how managers should behave. while you feel that you are balancing their needs with the company’s constraints and strategy. But sometimes fulfilling your staff’s expectations can jeopardize your ability to carry out your primary responsibility: supporting your company’s strategic direction.Understand the dilemma As a manager. you need to satisfy your staff’s expectations. your team may feel that you’re not fully supporting their efforts. and what capacities they should bring to their work. you face a tough dilemma: To motivate your people and retain talented performers. You feel that this solution allows for long-term growth and encourages your team members to augment their skill base. For example. what their priorities should be.


Employees want you to

Your boss wants you to Cultivate contacts with peers and other constituents that enable you to collaborate constructively with other parts of the company

Networking Engage in frequent interactions with them to help them solve problems, explore ideas, and gain emotional support during stressful times Buffering

Shield them from major change so Ensure that your group makes they can focus on getting their work the changes necessary to done support the company’s direction

Leadership Define “leadership” as meeting their Define “leadership” as setting requests for resources, support, an agenda that furthers your knowledge, and ideas for carrying company’s interests and taking out their work responsibility for results

Communicate to balance expectations

How to handle conflicting expectations? There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Rather, you need to handle each case separately. However, forthright communication can help you understand the forces behind conflicting expectations as well as begin addressing them. If you sense frustration among your employees after you’ve made a particular decision, ask them to explain their view of the situation. Follow with an explanation of the reasons behind your decision. You may uncover important differences between perceptions and reality. For instance, Joan, a sales rep, has become embroiled in a dispute with a customer. She asks you to intervene. You promise to gather more information about the conflict. Joan becomes visibly frustrated when you don’t immediately contact the customer. When you ask her to explain her

perceptions, she expresses concern that you’re being “indecisive” and “unsupportive.” Here’s an opportunity for you to manage Joan’s perceptions: Explain that decisiveness and supportiveness don’t always take the form of instant action. In fact, the best decision makers take time to gather needed information before reacting to the situation. Moreover, by waiting a day or two before contacting the customer, you’re giving both Joan and the customer time to cool off—laying the groundwork for a more productive conversation about the conflict. In addition, you’re providing Joan with the opportunity to come up with creative solutions on her own. It’s always helpful to explain the big-picture rationale behind unpopular decisions. For example, the more your people know about the company’s strategy and your unit’s role in supporting that strategy, the greater the possibility that they’ll understand and accept decisions that on the surface seem ill-considered.

Leverage your group's talents
Communication alone isn’t a cure-all for addressing conflicting expectations. You also need to sharpen your creative thinking abilities. At times, you may be able to involve your group in finding solutions that meet everyone’s needs. For example, suppose your group needs to reduce order-processing errors but lacks the funding required to research potential new technologies. You could bluntly explain that your group’s limited budget must go toward expenditures that relate more directly to the company’s long-term strategy. But you could also go one step further: Invite talented and invested employees to brainstorm creative options that cost less and devise solutions to the order-processing problem. Tools: Clarifying Your Group's Purpose and Goals and Identifying Expectations By using this approach, you give your employees opportunities to use their creative problem-solving skills, you draw on their technical expertise, and you demonstrate that you’re willing to involve them in the process of finding solutions to problems. Use the “Clarifying Your Group's Purpose and Goals” and “Identifying Expectations” tools to help you better understand and balance conflicting expectations.

Adapting Your Management Approach
As part of your role as a people manager, you need to adapt your management approach to specific circumstances as well as to the individuals you’re overseeing. This section will help you understand how to balance supervising and managing activities and how to adapt your management style to individual employees based on their abilities.

Managing versus supervising
Many people use the words managing and supervising interchangeably. Yet they are two different activities that serve different purposes. In general, management usually includes activities such as setting policies and establishing standards, while supervisory activities typically focus on enforcement. For example, you might manage your group by setting team goals such as “Reduce order-processing errors to meet our organization’s goal of improving customer service.” You might supervise your group by periodically assessing their progress on the targets and goals that have been defined. If little progress toward the goal has been made, you might create an action plan for improving performance. Similarly, you might manage your direct reports by defining the performance standard, or target, for each of the goals that have been established. For instance, “Reduce order-processing errors by 15% by the end of the year.” You might supervise your staff by monitoring how order-processing data is recorded to ensure that information about errors is being reported accurately and captured in a timely manner. Finding the right balance between managing and supervising can be challenging, as there is no set equation for how much time you should devote to each. High-risk projects and less-experienced employees typically require more supervision than do low-risk projects and highly trained employees. Be aware, also, that your own manager's supervisory style may influence his or her expectations about how much you should supervise others. Practice and experience are your best teachers and will help you strike the right balance.

Adjust your management style to individuals

a staff member who has completed training in conflict resolution skills avoids • . and to (for whatever reasons) lack gradually take on more complex confidence in applying these challenges. • For example. an individual feels frustrated about challenges he or she has encountered on the job. but has a low level of commitment Coaching: You identify the Employees who are person’s concerns and work experienced. Developme Situations nt level Employee is inexperience d. a direct report is just starting out in his or her career—or just takes on a new set of responsibilities. The table below shows some examples. but has a high degree of commitment • Appropriate management style Directive: You monitor the New employees or person more closely and employees who have transitioned provide more explicit to a group from another instructions and demands. • Employee is somewhat competent.You also need to adapt your management style to each employee. • For example. skills. but are wavering in together with him or her to their commitment to the job or create an action plan for organization or are unmotivated. For example. department who are enthusiastic. depending on his or her level of professional development and skill. but his or her strengths. resolving the issues. but has variable commitment Supportive: You encourage the Employees who have person to identify and build on mastered the skills of the job. • Employee is experienced and capable.

You might use a coaching management style to help him understand and work through the problem. For example. • Source: Adapted from Situational Leadership® by Dr. the more frustrated he gets. you might use a supportive management style. This. 3. require little entrust him or her with key task supervision. Matching a learning style to a particular person and situation is not an exact science. Paul Hersey and Dr. an employee has a broad understanding of how his or her work supports the unit’s and company’s efforts and embraces goals enthusiastically. Once the problem is resolved and the direct report’s frustration has abated. • For example. Employee is extremely competent and highly committed Appropriate management style Delegating: You give the Employees who are strong person significant latitude and performers. developing their careers and capabilities. In fact.Developme Situations nt level dealing with a difficult peer: The person has not actually practiced these skills before and therefore lacks confidence. Ken Blanchard. in turn. results in greater organizational effectiveness. The more he works on the problem. depending on the tasks at hand. and are proactive in making. 1969. are committed to the responsibilities and decision organization. By modifying the way you work with individuals in particular situations. you can help them reach their highest level of performance on a specific goal or task. one direct report might need different styles. MANAGING PERFORMANCE Performance Management: A Daily Activity . you may have a direct report who’s been grappling with a work-related problem for several days.

Evaluating whether an employee has achieved his or her defined goals. These appraisals can affect whether an employee is considered for a salary increase. In many organizations. . However. and helping your employees create development plans for growth—touch on the performance management process. Performance appraisals can therefore play an important part in the performance management process. or promotion. the appraisals are only one step in the process. Managing performance is an ongoing task that involves a number of management skills. and help build key competencies. delegating assignments. Providing feedback to employees about their performance as well as listening to their concerns. Coaching employees to help them improve performance or develop new skills. Many of your everyday management activities—such as prioritizing work. bonus. keep employees motivated and engaged. Creating a development plan to help employees grow professionally. • • • • • • Delegating tasks based on agreed-upon performance standards and goals.Performance management and employee development are crucial management activities that ensure alignment of individual performance goals with organizational goals. managers conduct formal performance appraisals once or perhaps twice a year. recognizing successes and achievements. Most companies have established employee performance management processes that encompass some or all of the following activities: Setting standards and/or goals for individual employees based on shared expectations of the work that needs to be done. Performance management as a daily activity Integrating the performance management process into your daily interactions with direct reports can help you build effective relationships with your employees while keeping them motivated and focused on achieving their performance goals. coaching your employees.

. however. • • Hold one-on-one meetings with each staff member to clarify his or her job responsibilities and to assess developmental goals. Eventually. conduct effective formal performance appraisals. job descriptions. Setting Goals When you start out in your new role.As a new manager. through the following steps: Review your employees’ previous performance evaluations. and work with your direct reports to create development plans for further growth. identify opportunities for coaching. you will be in the position of setting goals with your employees for the coming year. and goals. your direct reports will most likely already have existing goals. The following foundations take a closer look at each of the elements in the performance management process. Ask: “What skills do you want to improve? What new types of work assignments do you want to try?” The insights generated by this get-acquainted process will help you set work priorities consistent with each employee's performance goals and delegate assignments that enable your people to strengthen their skills and gain experience in new areas. These insights will also help you give constructive feedback to your direct reports. how might you begin weaving performance management into your daily activities? First get acquainted with your direct reports.

Your company’s strategy hinges on increasing market share. while asking others to create entirely new products. Given your understanding of your unit’s objectives and your company’s competitive strategy. suppose your company has determined that enhancing existing products by adding new features is a more cost-effective and faster way to gain market share than investing in entirely new innovations. your employees won’t know whether they’re performing adequately. Consider revising or eliminating goals that are not tied either to business objectives or employee development. For example. Clarify the employee’s existing goals. For instance. In this case. Ask the employee to explain how each goal relates to the unit’s objectives or to the employee's personal development plan. Decide whether existing goals need updating. suppose you lead a product development unit. consider what (if any) changes you need to make to each employee’s goals. Meet with each employee and ask him or her to describe the individual goals established by your predecessor. and the product development unit has been charged with introducing breakthrough innovations as well as new features to refresh sales of existing products. How do you go about defining individual employee goals? The following process can help: 1.Clarifying and setting goals for each employee is a vital part of the performance management process. 2. Without goals. perhaps your predecessor assigned some team members the task of developing new product features. To meet those objectives. you might decide to put more employees in charge of developing new features and task fewer people with .

Finally. “Your performance rating will be determined according to whether you’ve met or exceeded these goals.” “Within six months. and time-limited. point out ways in which the goal will help the employee achieve his or her developmental objectives. ensure that each goal is SMART.” “By year-end. if any. For each goal that you establish for the employee.” Whether you’re affirming an employee’s preexisting goals or defining new ones. of the goals are more important than others.innovating breakthrough products. Ensure that each goal is “SMART. reduce by 10% the number of errors in customer orders that you process. Explain each goal’s importance. You will also want to indicate which. 3. clarify how the work will affect your assessment of the employee's job performance. and developmental . unit and company objectives. Here are several examples of SMART goals: “By the end of the second quarter this year. teach everyone in the department to use the new customer database. launch new versions of five existing products into the marketplace. realistic. achievable.” Also explain how the goal supports unit and company objectives. If you can’t make a link between a goal and these criteria (performance assessment. measurable.” “SMART” goals are specific. 4. For example.

For each goal that you’ve defined for an employee. Determine resources needed to achieve each goal. allow latitude for the employee to make mistakes. For example. explain the reasons to your employees and investigate alternative resources or goals. ask the person what resources he or she will need to achieve the goal. Setting goals: Additional tips Tool: Setting Performance Goals The following table provides additional tips for setting goals: Tips for Setting Goals Break long-term goals into a series of smaller. 5. investigate which are possible to obtain and make arrangements to procure them. • When setting goals that require an employee to learn new skills or take on new responsibilities. • Make sure that you and your employee agree on how you’ll both know when the employee has achieved a goal. This enables you and your employee to track progress and determine whether he or she would benefit from additional skill development or coaching. measurable achievements. we’ll know • . If you can’t obtain new resources. Define these goals in terms of both their minimum requirement and their ideal performance. • Identify “stretch” assignments as such—those tasks that help an employee strengthen existing skills or acquire new ones. “Jim. reconsider whether the goal or task is appropriate for that employee.objectives). For example. will the employee require new equipment? Additional office space? Training? Access to specific individuals who can provide needed information or expertise? Assistance from part-time workers who can free up the employee’s time to devote to the goal? Once you’ve clarified needed resources.

At the same time. in the next foundation. rather than completing tasks yourself. You may feel that you are losing control over the outcome when a direct report carries out a task using a process that is different from yours. you can: Utilize your human resources to their highest potential and achieve superior results by matching tasks and responsibilities to employee strengths.” To help your employees achieve their individual goals—and thus ensure that your unit reaches its objectives—you’ll need to know what kinds of tasks to delegate to your direct reports. It can often be a means to motivating an employee or developing an employee's skills. You will need to learn what to delegate. you must be careful not to abdicate your own accountability for the assignment. you may worry that your own contribution will go unrecognized.Tips for Setting Goals you’ve achieved this goal when everyone in our department can create correct reports using the new software that you’ve trained them on. how to communicate assignments. delegating involves complex judgment calls. Why is delegating important? Delegating frees up more of your time for those responsibilities that you cannot delegate. Through the power of delegating. a core managerial responsibility. Delegating also carries an emotional component. such as thinking strategically. building relationships. • . and managing employee performance. If you delegate a project to an employee who does an outstanding job. You’ll learn more about delegating. you will need to be receptive to a decision that is different from what you expected. Learning to Delegate Being a manager is about getting work done through others. you need to be able to delegate. and how to determine the appropriate level of follow-up. When you delegate decision making. To succeed. But delegating is more than randomly assigning projects or deliverables to whichever employee seems to have the most free time. Instead. Delegating can be a surprisingly difficult skill for new managers to master.

Special projects are also good candidates for delegating. Complex projects can often be divided into a collection of tasks that can then be delegated to different individuals. What to delegate First. • • • Help your people develop specific skills. and setting standards—and then put everything else on the table. your direct reports can help you complete your supervisor's request. building alliances. Many routine tasks can be incorporated into employees' regular job functions rather than delegated on an ad hoc basis. A task or project that you do not initially know how to accomplish may not be a good candidate for delegating until you can identify what controls or checkpoints are appropriate. This approach will help you avoid making the mistake of delegating only routine or tedious tasks while holding on to more meaningful projects. Increase the capacity of your group to respond quickly to changes in your business.Empower and motivate employees. Unless the project needs to be kept confidential. others in your group might collect progress updates and compile monthly status reports for your approval. resulting in higher productivity. One way to approach this decision is to decide what you can't delegate. this doesn't mean that you personally have to collect and analyze all of the information. If you are new to the department or function you . such as higherlevel tasks and responsibilities or those that are core to your job—examples include responsibility for contracts. or give them an opportunity to demonstrate competencies in new areas. you need to decide what to delegate and what to keep. determining strategy. If your supervisor asks you to do an analysis to determine whether new equipment will reduce costs. Routine tasks that do not legitimately fall within a particular job function might be delegated to teams or individuals on a rotating basis so that no one feels particularly singled out for additional work. and search the Internet for news about your industry. schedule recurring meetings. For example.

if you need someone to follow up on past due invoices. consider their: Capacity to perform the assignment. you might define your goal as "We need at least 30% of the invoices that are 60 days or more past due paid by the end of the month. Defining your desired results Once you've identified what to delegate. Do they have time available. or get exposure to senior management? Understanding why an employee might have an interest in a particular assignment will help you find ways to motivate them. What aspects of the assignment might make it attractive to an employee? Will they have a chance to do something different." you have limited the requirements for the assignment to basic telephone skills. or can this new project take priority over existing work? • • Capability to complete the assignment successfully. However. In that case you would need to delegate responsibility gradually as your employee gains experience. You might build some slack into the assignment so that your employees will have opportunities to practice unfamiliar skills and. but you realize that you first need to help someone develop the required combination of accounting. define the specific results you want to achieve. to learn from the experience. if instead you want someone to "call all of our customers with invoices that are 60 days past due. you might begin by asking those in your group to help you better understand the task's requirements. • . if your goal is to collect 30% of past due revenue. Interest in the assignment. For example. exercise higher skills. you might choose someone with good negotiating skills. and negotiation skills. if they make mistakes.are managing. especially on the first try. How do the required skills compare with their strengths and experience? Remember that not everyone is going to do everything correctly. For example. Defining your desired results also helps you understand whether your ability to delegate may be limited by your staff's current capabilities and to pinpoint needed training and skill development. Perhaps you want someone to take over the function of managing accounts receivable. telephone. Choosing the right person In choosing an individual or team for a project assignment." Clearly defining goals will make it easier for you to identify the right individual or team for a particular task.

and when. or consider asking another more-experienced employee to be the coach. Consider asking for volunteers for an assignment. you might establish that using scare tactics or intimidating customers is not acceptable. and you will miss opportunities to strengthen other members of your group. in delegating the task of collecting on past due accounts.Development needs. • If an individual lacks a required skill or is inexperienced. Communicating the assignment When approaching an employee with a new assignment. you may want to add it to the employee’s formal performance goals. identify significant constraints on how the work is to be accomplished. For example. be prepared to provide additional coaching as they progress with the assignment. your goal is to help them understand: • • • • • • • • Your objectives How the work will benefit the department or organization The potential benefits to the employee of working on the assignment Your time frame How you will monitor progress What training or assistance you will provide Constraints on how the work is to be accomplished How you will measure success Provide a written summary of what the employee is accountable for—what specific results are to be achieved. You can delegate work that helps employees develop specific skills and allows you to assess their capabilities to do different types of work. Have a contingency plan in case the employee finds the task overwhelming. Tool: Planning to Delegate Use the "Planning to Delegate" tool to identify tasks that you might delegate to your direct reports. they may become overburdened. Rather than delegate exclusively to one or two top performers. Also. If the task is significant. Use the . try to spread out your assignments among different employees Although you may have greater confidence in your top employees.

you’ll need to provide feedback on ongoing work as well as on any performance problems that arise. congratulate your employees for their efforts in completing assignments."Clarifying Task Expectations" tool to document the details of a task you are delegating. What did they like/dislike about working on an assignment? What would they do differently in the future? Consider the employees' perspectives as well as your own experience in evaluating whether a delegation was successful. Try not to step in and solve the problem for them—that can undermine their confidence. Follow-up also involves monitoring the progress of assignments—since you are ultimately still accountable for the results. Assessing the delegation Additional follow-up should occur when the assignment is completed. Tool: Clarifying Task Expectations Following up on your delegation Follow-up includes letting other employees and colleagues know that the employee is assuming additional responsibilities. try to provide assistance in a constructive way. in several ways: Ongoing feedback can take place during structured sessions (such as weekly status meetings) and during your day-to-day interactions with employees (such as a conversation after an employee has • . If an employee asks for help. and encourage others to recognize their successes as well. In your role as a manager. Giving Ongoing Feedback Giving ongoing feedback is an essential part of managing employee performance. If employees have difficulty with assignments. give them some time to resolve the problems on their own before making suggestions. Finally. Find out how your employees experienced the delegation process. preliminary reports. or hold meetings to review progress and identify obstacles. and ultimately their ability to handle the task. You might request regular status updates. And some skills can be mastered only through hands-on experience. as well as arranging for appropriate resources and authorizations. without taking over or taking back the assignment. Ongoing feedback is different from a formal performance review.

Consider these guidelines for providing ongoing feedback: Keep feedback sessions on ongoing work separate from performance reviews. For example.completed a project or given a presentation). A performance review takes place once or twice a year. Unlike a formal performance review. and you can discuss any new ideas for the project. This kind of . Recognize accomplishments. anything said during a formal performance review should not come as a surprise to your employee. you and your employee can also explore ways to work toward larger goals—such as improving work quality or timeliness. During ongoing feedback sessions—as well as during your daily encounters with employees—remember to praise your employee’s achievements. • At these sessions. During such meetings you can ask how things are going and ask whether the employee needs help to complete a project. and you offered a good solution to his problem. Managers often forget to provide positive feedback that shows appreciation for the work an employee has accomplished. When employees understand the difference between the two types of reviews. You showed him that we care about the quality of our service. There may also be a difference in documentation requirements. be genuine and specific. “Sally. Ideally. or furthering the employee’s professional development. I really liked the way you handled that customer’s complaint this morning. an ongoing feedback session or conversation should not affect an employee’s compensation or eligibility for promotion. most will prove more open to receiving ongoing feedback from you. Many employees experience the absence of positive feedback as negative feedback. Consider conducting a weekly or monthly status review with each employee to provide guidance on ongoing projects and work in progress. • Many experts maintain that a formal performance review should constitute a recap of issues that you and your employee have already discussed. • When giving positive feedback.

"Was this conversation helpful to you?" or "How might I have been more effective?" By inviting feedback you demonstrate that you’re open to learning and to improving your own performance. your direct reports can further enhance their performance and make even bigger contributions to your group. not his or her character or motives. When you provide critical feedback outside of a formal performance review or coaching session. Clearly define the change in behavior needed to correct the problem. o o o o Deliver the feedback in private to the employee in question. Invite feedback from employees on your performance as a coach and manager. At ongoing feedback sessions or after you’ve provided feedback on a specific effort (such as a team presentation or a completed project).creative problem-solving is essential for keeping our customers loyal. Providing ongoing feedback to guide an employee’s current efforts or address a performance problem is a key component of managing and developing your staff. and describe the impact of the behavior on the rest of your group or unit. Frame the feedback in terms of the person’s behavior. When you give ongoing feedback effectively. keep the following principles in mind: Provide the feedback as soon as possible after you’ve identified a performance problem. Explain the impact of the person’s behavior on his or her ability to meet individual goals. giving critical feedback requires skill and thoughtfulness. thus you act as a role model for .” Present critical feedback effectively. ask simple questions such as. o o • Offer assistance in helping the employee to change this behavior. • As explained in the “Coaching Your Employees” and “Conducting Performance Reviews” foundations included in this module.

For example. Form theories about what’s happening. Rather than reacting defensively to any criticism. Coaching is an interactive process by which you help direct reports identify areas for improvement or growth. and agreeing on action steps for change. Such behaviors are often signals that you need to do some coaching with a particular employee. Or maybe another group member seems to be dominating brainstorming sessions to the point where other participants aren’t speaking up. And periodically summarize the discussion. But make sure you respond positively to whatever you hear in response to your questions. and you’ve noticed that one of your direct reports has turned in several poorly prepared reports. Coaching Your Employees You’re a few weeks into your new managerial job. listening. Request any needed clarification. Clarify your thoughts about the observed behavior on your group’s ability to meet its . you help your employees grow as professionals. These skills are described in more detail below. and maximize their contributions to your unit’s and company’s success. Or perhaps another employee has expressed a desire to deliver a presentation to the group on his latest project. Coaching requires distinct skills—such as observing behaviors. clarify their goals. Through coaching. Tool: Preparing to Give Feedback Use the "Preparing to Give Feedback" tool to plan how best to deliver positive or constructive feedback to your employee. providing feedback. use active listening techniques. and then move toward achieving those objectives. apologizing. You also establish a culture of continuous learning and enhance your employees' power to meet your organization’s current future needs. A defensive response could inhibit your employee from giving you feedback in the future. paraphrase to verify that you’ve heard the message correctly.receiving feedback. asking good questions. address performance challenges. or explaining. Avoid responding in defensive ways—such as making justifications. Observing your employees' behaviors Take a closer look at the behaviors you’ve noticed—by observing your employees in action.

Observations Rather than assume that “Susan is careless and doesn’t care about the quality of her work. other group members aren’t getting information they need to do their jobs. he came up with reasons not to do so. For instance. He had to go back to Susan for clarification. sending the message that collaborative brainstorming isn’t important to you? Understanding the coaching process . When Milo tried to follow the instructions in the reports. avoiding character judgments or assumptions about employees’ motives. As a result. and he completed his task late. he became confused.” “The last two times I suggested to Joe that he give presentations on his projects. ask several group members other than Angelina how they feel the brainstorming sessions are going.” If needed.” “Angelina doesn’t respect others’ “Angelina interrupted others seven times contributions to brainstorming.goals.” only two of the remaining ten participants contributed ideas during the session. For example. have you dominated several sessions. during the last brainstorming session. and She’s being too pushy. Also consider whether you’ve inadvertently contributed to the problem. The following table contrasts ineffective and effective observations. check your observations with others—while respecting your employee’s confidentiality.” “Joe is too timid and is letting his timidity keep him from helping out the rest of the group.” Frame your observations as “Susan submitted two reports containing several errors on each page.

describe the undesirable ways in which the problem behavior affects your group. Be open to a range of ideas presented by your employee. coaching is a three-step process: Prepare for a coaching discussion. perhaps Joe has made improvements in using graphics during his project presentations.” Write down what’s at stake: “Other group members can’t perform as well if Joe doesn’t share information about his projects with them. “To prepare Joe to deliver successful presentations. Ask questions to ensure that the employee understands why you’re having the discussion. for example. as well as schedule coaching sessions to discuss specific problems or growth opportunities. Follow up on agreements. such as “Joe will need to attend several training seminars on public speaking. ask permission to offer a bit of coaching. but he needs to get better at summarizing his ideas at the end of his talks. This three-step process is typically completed over a period of days or weeks. coaching can help your employees give their best on the job. Schedule one or more follow-up meetings to check on the employee’s progress once he or she has begun to implement the agreed-upon action plan. you might interrupt. In either case. 2. Explore ways to handle the situation— offering ideas as well as encouraging the employee to brainstorm alternatives with you.” 1. continue using your coaching skills to help the employee improve in areas that still need work. For instance. but can be compressed in situations where coaching must be conducted immediately. prepare a discussion plan. 3.” And list desired outcomes: “Joe will begin delivering project presentations weekly starting next month.You can coach employees during your daily interactions with them. . Before broaching the subject of needed change with an employee. Ensure that the action plan includes a timetable and benchmarks for assessing progress.” Note what’s needed. Conduct the discussion. Then agree on an action plan and the outcomes you both desire. Coaching itself takes practice—but you’ll find the results well worth the effort. For example when you are working with or observing employees and see that they are proceeding incorrectly and need correction immediately. Practiced thoughtfully. and then conduct the coaching discussion. Meet with your employee and clarify the purpose and importance of discussing the needed change in his or her behavior or performance. At these meetings. In specific terms. but also need an understanding of how to choose the right path in the future. Start by documenting the purpose of the discussion.

and resist any urge to interrupt.Tool: Planning a Coaching Session Hone your coaching skills To be effective as a coach. paraphrase occasionally to demonstrate that you’ve understood the other person accurately. what do you think are the most important characteristics of a well-prepared report?” “Joe. you'll need to develop specific skills. During coaching conversations with your employee. Joe. • For example: “Susan. avoid distractions— putting other work aside during your coaching conversation. Speak in a friendly tone of voice. Share your observations of the troubling behavior with the employee in question. Describe behavior in specific terms. You . They end up performing their part of the project late. Demonstrate relaxed body posture. you encourage the employee to actively participate in the conversation. • Most important. For example: “So. what ideas do you have for ensuring that everyone in the group has a chance to contribute ideas during brainstorming sessions?” By asking open questions. you feel intensely anxious about public speaking?” Or: “What I hear you saying. Ask questions to assess the employee’s views about what’s going on. Listening actively. when you make errors in your reports. Open questions (those that don’t require a “yes” or “no” response) can help. including: Asking effective questions. if you delivered a short presentation on your project during next week’s status meeting. And don’t forget to praise the person for his or her positive behaviors and accomplishments. what do you think the impact would be?” “Angelina. listen actively to show interest in the person as well as his or her ideas and concerns. other members in the group get confused and have to come to you for clarification. Make eye contact with the employee. Frame your comments in terms of the person’s behavior and its impact on your group—not in terms of character or motives. To listen actively. and periodically show that you’re listening. You also begin generating ideas for how to address the problem behavior. Is that correct?” Giving feedback. smile. Susan. Consider these examples: • “Susan. is that you haven’t had time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the new report-preparation software.

and giving feedback can help you and your employee agree on new goals and action steps for achieving them. active listening. based on your conversation with Joe. you might set a goal for him to take a one-day course on giving a great job of providing clear summaries and analyses in your reports. Such plans are designed to offer coaching to the employee along with a specific set of measures they must meet to be successful. For example. but explain the consequences of not changing: “I won’t be able to approve your promotion and salary increase until you can demonstrate more effective presentation skills. and establish development goals—that is. Together. For instance. You might set another goal for him to develop a project presentation that he’ll deliver to the group in a month. you earn your employee’s trust. • If Joe tends to hear constructive feedback as criticism. set objectives for strengthening particular skills and abilities. objectively. Stress how much you value his contribution to the group. you and he might agree that Joe needs to strengthen his public-speaking skills.” For employees who have steadily performed at a low level. review and clarify performance goals for the future. and fairly. Questioning. Reducing the number of errors would help you produce even higher-quality work. Be supportive. work with your human resources group and follow your company's procedures to develop a performance improvement plan. you give your employee specific information about his or her job performance. This foundation focuses on how to prepare for a performance review and apply specific strategies while . calmly and clearly explain how and why he must strengthen his skills. you’d be helping the rest of the group to do their jobs more quickly and accurately. if Joe doesn’t respond to feedback or doesn’t seem to care about changing his behavior. Most important. emphasize the importance of strong presentation skills and express your confidence that he can master the art of public speaking. Conducting Performance Reviews During a formal performance review.” When you give feedback honestly. Coaching a poor performer When coaching a marginal performer—someone who does not consistently meet performance expectations—you may need to be more directive. Gaining agreement.

and past job performance. In addition. insufficient training. Self-reporting by the employee (if included in your company's review process). As you review this material. In addition. Help the employee also prepare for the meeting by reminding him or her of the purposes of the review beforehand. .” Conducting the meeting How you conduct the performance review depends on the objectives as well as the employee's level of experience and sensitivity to negative feedback. “We’ll start with your appraisal of your own performance. then we’ll talk more about future goals.conducting the review. we will follow up by creating a development plan. note specific examples of both positive performance and problems that will provide support for your assessment and enable you to give meaningful feedback. Where the employee's performance is below expectations. The employee’s job description. or other individuals with whom the employee works. past training. The next foundation focuses on how to create a development plan with your employee following a performance review. outline the steps that the review will take—for example. Preparing for a performance review Before meeting with your employee to discuss his or her performance. The employee’s work history. lack of resources. Relevant and specific feedback from customers. peers. or ambiguous direction or instruction. If you have been giving your employee ongoing feedback on performance. including skills. these will have been defined during the previous review. there will be no surprises during the review. Typically. consider possible contributing factors—such as unclear goals. • • • • Your documentation of performance observations and other relevant data. Goals and performance criteria established for the employee for the current period. prepare by reviewing the following information: • • • Your company's performance review policies and forms.

” If possible. Start by describing the differences between the employee’s goals and his or her actual performance. If you’ve identified performance issues that the employee doesn’t bring up. you may decide to begin the meeting with your evaluation of the employee’s performance and your ideas for improvement. Discussing problematic performance Some managers feel uncomfortable giving feedback to correct an employee’s performance. This helps you understand the employee’s point of view and prevents you from controlling too much of the conversation early on. and who looks to you for significant direction. “We agreed that you would get an average of five new customers per month over the past six months. The purpose of a performance review is to encourage good performance or correct poor performance. however. less direct attempts to communicate these issues have failed. In some cases. For example. Keep the focus on the performance. frame your comments on how the employee’s specific accomplishments compare to agreed-upon goals. not the employee’s character or motives. You may also use this approach with an employee who is inexperienced. Why? This approach can be helpful if the employee’s performance needs substantial improvement and if other. If you have this difficulty. explain how improving the performance will help the company reach its goals: “By getting more new customers.” Also . we have a better chance of increasing our market share. it's a good idea to start by asking the employee to share his or her impressions of how things have been going. remind yourself that you’re working together with your employee as a partner and that giving feedback is a necessary part of improving performance. In both cases. you can then ask for his or her perspective on those issues. This is also the time to confirm whether the employee understands his or her responsibilities and has the skills and resources to fulfill them. relatively new to the job. and you got an average of three per month.Generally.

" or "You aren’t committed to the job. • • Orient your feedback toward problem-solving and action. The next foundation examines this phase in detail. give him or her the first opportunity to suggest a plan for closing the gap between desired and actual performance. • • • Give authentic praise as well as meaningful criticism. Why is that?" Be selective in the data you choose to share.emphasize the importance of performance improvement in terms of the individual’s career goals: “When you’ve met these targets. such as. Organizations that encourage learning build the creation of an annual employee development plan into their performance management process. Avoid using subjective judgments. for example. A development plan lays out the skills or behaviors a direct report wants or needs to improve. Once you’ve discussed the employee’s performance. Define the consequences or impact of the person’s behavior. you’ll be eligible for promotion.” It’s vital that you gain the employee’s agreement that improving performance is important. You don’t need to recite every shortcoming or failing. offer specific comments that relate to the job. To that end." Instead. "I’ve noticed that you haven’t offered any suggestions at our service improvement meetings. as well as the steps for achieving that growth or improvement. Sometimes creating a development plan is part of the formal performance . it’s time to generate a development plan—a strategy for helping the person close performance gaps and enhance his or her skills. People can and do change when they understand how their behavior affects others. To keep ownership of the problem with the employee. "You aren’t a leader. the following strategies may help you offer effective feedback: Encourage the employee to respond to and articulate points of disagreement.” • • Avoid generalizations such as. "You just don’t seem involved with your work. Creating a Development Plan Helping your employees create a development plan is another crucial component of managing performance.

some organizations encourage managers to hold two separate meetings when possible: one for the performance appraisal and another for the development plan. The purpose of the development plan is to help an employee acquire the skills needed to grow within the organization and to advance his or her career. Thus any plan you propose should be clearly presented as a draft that you and your employee can refine and finalize together. You may also want to prepare a proposed draft of a plan before the meeting. However. Creating a development plan Before you meet to create a development plan with an employee. A development plan might also be created as part of a coaching arrangement. However. She believes that her timidity and lack of confidence have prevented her from delivering effective project updates to her colleagues. based on your own analysis of the employee's needs. “When will Patricia will strive to demonstrate knowledge of the new database . When you meet. Patricia also wants to improve her presentation skills.appraisal. be sure to ask the employee to think about their developmental needs and possible ways to address those needs. Her interest in this skill is good news for your unit—since your group could accomplish its work faster if more of its members were familiar with the system. make sure you and your direct report discuss the questions shown in the table below: Question “What goals do you want or need to achieve?” Example Patricia wants to learn how to use the new customer database your company just installed. it’s important that the employee actively participate in the planning process and buy into the plan. in an attempt to separate the functions of evaluating employees’ performance and supporting them in their development.

To reach her goal regarding the database.” Tool: Creating Development Plans . the agreedupon goals?” She will also aim to deliver an acceptable project update to her colleagues two months from now. Also. I can position myself for a more visible leadership role. would also be valuable. she will begin delivering effective project updates to her team every week or month—in an informal meeting setting. what do you see as the payoff—both for yourself and the company—if you successfully carry out this plan?” The commitment you are looking for might sound like: “I think that by learning how to use the database I’ll come up with good ideas for serving customers better. take a course in making presentations. if I improve my presentation skills. Patricia will update the customer database without error and generate correctly formatted reports. To strengthen her presentation skills. ensure that you reach agreement on the goals and steps required to achieve them. Patricia will need to ask a trusted colleague to observe her rehearsals of a project presentation and provide critical feedback. To strengthen her presentation skills. For example. As a desired presentation-skills outcome. she will need to read some literature on public speaking. One helpful technique is to ask your employee to affirm the benefits that he or she will gain by achieving the agreed-upon goals. and observe several effective presenters in action. Also test the person’s commitment to carrying out the plan. Some coaching and feedback on her IT skills from Angelina. Patricia will need to take the online tutorial provided in the new database. My feedback after her presentations would also be useful. Patricia will need time to practice using the database. in IT.Question Example you achieve three months from now. you might ask: “Patricia. As a desired IT outcome. As you and your employee create the development plan. “What steps do you need to take to put this plan in action?” “What are the outcomes you and I want to see?” “What assistance do you need in order to reach the goals in the plan?” To develop her IT skills.

Following up As with any plan. suppose you run into Patricia in the hallway soon after she had her mentoring session with Angelina in IT. don’t forget to follow up after you and your employee have finalized the development plan. that could help. Why don’t you plan for those two things and let me know when you’ve scheduled them in. it’s vital to document all the information shared and decisions made as comprehensively and factually as possible. Supporting your employee. If you’re uncertain of or unfamiliar with your company’s policies regarding documenting employee performance.Documenting creation of the development plan Once you and your employee have finalized the development plan. It’s complicated. consult your human resources manager or your company’s legal team. Keep notes of your observations from the meetings in which you and your direct report finalized the plan. You: Sounds like a good idea. If you created the development plan to help an employee address a performance problem. Follow-up means remaining aware of the steps and timelines stipulated in the plan and regularly checking in with the employee to see how he or she is doing regarding the plan. For example. You can follow up by establishing a series of formal status updates. you can provide feedback. coaching. but I was a little overwhelmed by the database’s report-formatting function. Well. You might use several coaching techniques in a conversation that resembles the following: Technique Following up and checking in with your employee Conversation You: Patricia. as well as by asking informal questions during your day-to-day interactions with the employee. if I could meet with Angelina a few more times. I learned a lot. ideas. how did your mentoring session with Angelina go? Patricia: Pretty well. Often special legal considerations come into play when a manager addresses an employee’s performance problem. save a copy of the plan in the employee’s record. Each time you check in. and encouragement as necessary. Inquiring to help the employee solve a problem You: What would help you get a handle on the function? Patricia: Hmm. . And I might run through the tutorial a second time.

By applying the practices described above. you might ask Angelina to set aside some extra practice time on the database for you. Helping your employees to create development plans and achieve agreedupon goals is one of the most important parts of your job as a manager. you can enable your employees to enhance their performance and make ever more valuable contributions to your unit and company. You: Keep up the good work. Patricia. Patricia: Okay. will do.Technique making suggestions. . and setting milestones Providing praise and encouragement Conversation Also. I appreciate your cando spirit and your commitment to the plan we worked out.

and business ethics. hiring. as well as vendors. MEETINGS & TIME Your Role as Administrator Administrative responsibilities make up an important part of your job as a manager.4. and even shareholders. Your administrative responsibilities may include: Exercising financial controls and participating in the financial management of your department's operations. you help ensure that employees. customers. The value of administrative responsibilities Some managers view their administrative responsibilities as nuisances that take them away from their “real” work. Through documentation and recordkeeping. Safeguarding confidential information. ORGANIZING RESOURCES. . you demonstrate that you and your group have followed appropriate procedures. But by fulfilling these responsibilities. are treated equitably. You carry out administrative tasks to ensure that your company achieves the results it desires—in accordance with its values as well as legal and regulatory requirements. • • • • Documenting compliance with company policies regarding employee relations. performance management. Documenting compliance with regulations specific to your industry.

you decide to hire Mary. If this hiring situation were subjected to legal scrutiny. Your company’s policies are designed to help you handle these types of situations appropriately. Thankfully. You therefore ask Jim for a writing sample. Early in your tenure as a manager. authorizing purchase orders. If you initially feel unsure of your administrative tasks. some administrative tasks are relatively straightforward. a reviewer might determine that you did not treat the candidates fairly (since you did not require a writing sample from Mary). but you feel less confident about Jim’s.Failing to carry out your administrative responsibilities can pose problems later. it’s best to be cautious and seek counsel from the appropriate experts whenever you feel unsure of what to do. Tool: Record Keeping In addition to routine administrative responsibilities. After the interviews. Your company’s administrative procedures will clarify how to handle this situation in a way that provides the protection this co-worker is entitled to in the workplace and that safeguards your job. and Rob—for a new product design position. which could pose ethical and legal problems for you and your organization. For example. Make these tasks part of your daily or weekly routine. you may encounter other situations in your new role that require close attention to company policies and procedures. suppose you don't document an employee's poor performance as it comes to light. you believe you have a good sense of Mary’s abilities and experience. You wonder if you’re legally required to report it to human resources. To avoid such potential situations. you may decide to fire the employee. You are even less sure about Rob. complete the "Record Keeping" tool to identify the main tasks for which you’re responsible and to capture key information about each task. Consider these scenarios: A co-worker tells you privately that her supervisor sexually harassed her. but that she’s afraid to report the incident to the human resources department. • Ultimately. . As a new manager. such as reviewing and approving time sheets and expense reports. Jim. • You interview three candidates—Mary. so you ask him for a writing sample and a sample of his design work. you need to follow established guidelines and work closely with your human resources department in all staffing activities. and reviewing activity reports. The person could charge your company with wrongful dismissal—and you wouldn't be able to provide evidence that his or her performance was subpar. Eventually. you may have difficulty discerning when it’s appropriate to use your discretion in handling such situations and when you must follow company procedures to the letter.

state. benefits. and industry regulations Documenting interactions with outside vendors. ethics. sexual harassment. and customers • • • Establishing quality controls Conducting other industry-specific recordkeeping Reviewing purchase orders and expense reports Reviewing current budgets against actual results and Financial controls • • . clients. and compensation • • Approving employee requests for time off and for expenditures related to education and training programs Employee relations • • • Handling employee grievances Complying with existing labor agreements Enforcing rules regarding employee attire. and so forth Performance management Conducting formal performance reviews with employees • • Documenting and communicating poor performance.Types of administrative responsibilities The following table lists some of the most common administrative tasks a new manager needs to perform: Task Hiring Responsibilities • • • Writing job descriptions and posting jobs Conducting interviews Making formal offers Deciding on and reviewing salaries Pay. including verbal warnings and written evaluations outlining areas of unsatisfactory performance • Terminating employees Compliance with federal.

for example. Your company may also provide training in such matters. and so forth Where to find guidance To fully understand the scope of your administrative responsibilities. you’ll find the following resources valuable: . only using vendors from a pre-approved list and declining gifts from existing or potential vendors • Data security and appropriate use of information Enforcing policies relating to employees' use of the Internet and e-mail • • Protecting passwords to internal Web sites. including contracts. • Vendor/contractor relations Dealing fairly with vendors and contractors. legal reviews. you may well need help from others in your organization. This individual may provide you with a template to complete and to keep updated for your department. phone logs. reports. inspection records. and so forth • Developing best practices for maintaining copies of your correspondence if your company doesn’t provide guidelines • Confidentiality • • • Safeguarding confidential customer information Keeping copyrighted brands or trade secrets confidential Maintaining confidentiality of employee records Emergency preparation Maintaining up-to-date emergency procedures. In addition.Task Responsibilities investigating discrepancies • Preparing budget estimates for future periods Recordkeeping/archivin g Maintaining important departmental records. including provisions for how to continue to service customers or clients. Most organizations designate a particular person to take responsibility for these plans.

and legal/compliance departments. financial. and legal questions. If your company doesn’t provide formal training for new managers. This understanding will help you see the importance of fulfilling that task in the prescribed way. You may also receive a policy and procedures manual when you begin your new job as a manager. Many managers who skip or postpone such training later regret it. post your position. Your company may have an intranet site to help managers handle administrative processes such as hiring. When you find yourself wondering how to handle an administrative question. finance. The site may also provide answers to many questions about human resources.Employee guides and policy and procedure manuals. make time to sit with your boss and/or someone from your HR department to ensure that you clearly understand your administrative responsibilities. In this case. • Company intranet. Most companies have departments or individuals responsible for human resources. take advantage of it. if you have an open position in your department or team. financial issues. Human resources. one person or department may handle all three areas. • Training programs. you might describe a position in a way that results in a much higher or lower salary than the role warrants. • Try to understand the why behind a particular responsibility. suppose you don’t know that your company’s compensation committee depends on job descriptions written in a specific format to assign pay levels. you go to the site. find out whom to contact for answers to questions about handling administrative tasks related to human resource. For example. • Tool: Administrative Resources Contacts Complete the "Administrative Resources Contacts" tool to identify resources you can use to resolve an administrative issue. In some organizations. these documents are a good place to start. Your company's employee handbook outlines many of the organization’s policies. and review applications from interested candidates. and legal or regulatory matters. . as well as forms you’ll need to handle certain administrative tasks. If your company offers new manager training. For example. Regardless of the arrangement your company has chosen.

on the other hand. more efficient means. identify and explain challenges. • • • Solve problems: Leverage participants’ varied expertise to identify creative solutions to thorny challenges. motivate people. plan. or memo. answer questions. • Make decisions: Capitalize on different experiences. For example. . and build cooperation and trust. the reason to have a meeting is to generate back-and-forth dialogue between participants. if the communication is likely to be one-way. accomplishes little or nothing— and therefore wastes time and money. Why meet? Many managers mistakenly use meetings to accomplish goals they could have achieved through other. In many situations it may be possible to achieve these goals without a meeting. then an e-mail or memo may be a better choice. How to ensure that your meetings are valuable and productive? Start by assessing whether to meet at all. If you anticipate numerous questions or concerns. voicemail. a meeting might help you respond to them immediately. Before you schedule a meeting.Managing Meetings A well-run meeting enables you to capitalize on your team’s collective abilities to accomplish goals such as making a tough decision or to come up with an innovative new strategy. However. consider the goals you’re trying to achieve and ask yourself whether you require live interaction among people to achieve them. The challenge is to figure out when a meeting is the best way to achieve them. Your goals for having a meeting could include the following: Share information: Communicate news. In general. Foster innovation: Inspire each other to improve processes or develop new products. and perspectives to make better choices. suppose you want to convey information about a new company policy. styles. A poorly run meeting. such as e-mail. ask people questions.

the more people you involve in the meeting. think about whether the person is an important stakeholder. they’re usually the best way to motivate or energize a group. Invite only those who can contribute to your meeting goals. Tool: Evaluating Whether to Meet Use the "Evaluating Whether to Meet" tool to eliminate needless meetings from your current schedule and identify unnecessary meetings you’ll want to avoid in the future. in considering each possible participant. • Decide who should attend. use the following practices to prepare for and manage it effectively. On the other hand. What do you hope to accomplish during the meeting.Because meetings involve face-to-face interaction. you stand a better chance of achieving the outcome you want. Define how you will structure the meeting to achieve your goals. your meeting goal may be to brainstorm ideas for a new way to pitch your company’s consulting services. • Create an agenda. you’re more likely to generate creative solutions and better decisions when you bring a group together than when you sit at your desk alone. a 10-minute presentation on new products followed by a brainstorming session to generate a list of possible sales approaches. By understanding and addressing their concerns during the meeting. Start by clarifying in your own mind what you want the meeting to achieve and what you expect from participants. and what do you want people to do after they leave the meeting? For example. You'll be better prepared for a meeting if you know in advance what key participants think about important items on the agenda. for example. Meetings are therefore usually a good choice for decision making and brainstorming. Once you have decided a meeting is worthwhile. For instance. you need to approach meetings with the same level of effort as you do assignments you complete in your office. a very small group may not represent diverse interests and perspectives. • . lay the groundwork for achieving them by doing the following: Define your goals. Preparing for a meeting As with any other important work activity. You may also want to generate a list of ideas that participants will explore further after the meeting. or someone who might have a valuable perspective on how to sell your product. In addition. or to persuade people to agree with your point of view. • Sound out key stakeholders in advance. Once you identify your goals for a meeting. the more time-consuming the deliberation process will be. Remember.

or do you want to discuss the pros and cons of particular ideas? Assign a person to write key points on a flip chart or white board. For example. such as a lounge. Encourage individuals to leave if the remaining topics don’t pertain to them. an account executive may want to leave if the remainder of your meeting time will focus on how to build a software demo. Tools: Preparing for a Meeting and Meeting Agenda Managing the meeting Careful preparation will go a long way toward enabling you to run an efficient meeting. Review your agenda. • • Review your goals and objectives at the outset. your usual meeting room might not be the best place. If you want participants to do research or bring a list of ideas to the meeting. and then document that timeframe. Establish a timeframe for completing each task. Are you trying to encourage creativity? If so. • • • Stay action-oriented. Ask for volunteers to take responsibility for any action items. • . If one person seems to be dominating the conversation. • Use the "Preparing for a Meeting" tool to help you get ready for your next meeting and the "Meeting Agenda" tool to create an agenda.Determine logistics. The following tips can help: Start on time. may help people think outside of their traditional roles. Don’t waste the time of people who arrived promptly or reward those who didn’t by starting the meeting late. These notes will keep people focused and provide a visual reminder of what the group has accomplished. review the information on your flip chart or whiteboard. Distribute your agenda and materials to be used during the meeting far enough in advance that the attendees have time to review them. Summarize your decisions. let them know that ahead of time. Remind participants of what you want to accomplish during the meeting. But you also need to get the most out of your participants during the meeting itself. Ensure that everyone agrees the list represents the choices the group has made. • Keep conversations on-topic and encourage everyone to participate. For instance. At the end of the meeting. Write down off-topic ideas and suggest that they be pursued at another time. politely interrupt and encourage participation from those who have been quiet. such as time and location. Focus on achieving your objectives. Another location. • Distribute relevant information. How long should it take to cover all the items? Also consider where to meet. do you want to brainstorm.

Schedule a follow-up meeting. and following up on meetings. The table below shows some tips for managing meetings.Manage the clock. • Following up When you walk out of the meeting room. you’ll need to move the conversation along if you get stuck on a difficult issue. conducting. Address unresolved agenda items at a follow-up meeting. This document serves as a summary of what you decided together and lists key action items with time frames. Meetings are best when group members and leaders make conscious choices about how each function will be managed. • Follow up in person with anyone who didn’t participate in the discussion during the meeting or who seemed dissatisfied with the results. acknowledging the progress you made. If one person is planning for a meeting where five people are in attendance. • Meeting tips People spend 20% or more of their working lives attending. What are your objectives? Is another meeting the best way to meet them? If so. it is much better and more efficient than creating the plan "on the fly. Almost one-third of all meetings are considered unnecessary by the people who attend them. Include in your communication any information people will need to complete the action items. preparing for. Use your meeting notes from the flip chart and the "Post-Meeting Communication" tool to send a quick note of thanks to all meeting participants. Meeting tips Spend the time planning. . To ensure that the work you accomplished during the meeting is put to good use: Tool: Post-Meeting Communication Send a follow-up communication. if necessary." A good guideline is one hour planning for every hour in the meeting. End your meeting on time. Then schedule your next meeting accordingly. process management. determine how much time people will need to accomplish their assignments. information management. To do so. All meetings have four functions: participation. if necessary. your job isn’t done. This practice will help you gather valuable feedback and can enable you to win buy-in for any decisions you’ll make based on the meeting. and decision making. Consider whether you need another meeting.

Getting up-front agreement on the agenda facilitates collaboration and is a best practice. strategic thinking. . Sharing expectations for a meeting builds alignment and fosters a sense of shared responsibility for success. participants share a basic meeting management tool kit. Everyone in the meeting should play a role in making the meeting a success. collaborative attitude by all in the meeting. the expected results. The next foundation provides tips for making the most of your limited time. and facilitative behaviors in action. By helping people reach small agreements. Source: Interaction Associates © 2005. A truly successful meeting will have at least these key ingredients: shared responsibility for success. To facilitate group action. Every meeting should have clear "desired outcomes. A desired outcome statement answers the question: "What will we walk out of the meeting with?" An agenda is a meeting road map that the group can consciously amend as it moves toward its desired outcome. 10. Meetings are just one of the responsibilities you’ll have to juggle in your new role as a manager.Meeting tips Building agreement is a critical skill for mastering meetings." A desired outcome is what your meeting aims to achieve. Everyone in the meeting can use the tools and there is no one right way to build understanding and agreement— rather many ways. you build a firm foundation for collaborative action.

meetings. Self-development: Activities that help you strengthen your skills or acquire new ones. • • Managing relationships: Time that you spend building relationships with employees. higher-level managers. Administrative responsibilities: Activities such as status meetings.. determine which goals from each category you can reasonably pursue given your time constraints and priorities. do you want to spend 25% of your time on business growth and development? Once you have determined these percentages. • • • Daily responsibilities: For example. Effective managers don’t immediately respond to every issue brought to them. Tool: Weekly Goals & Time Allocation . such as: Business growth and improvement: Work on projects and processes such as planning a new sales strategy or implementing a cost-cutting initiative. They also don’t let things like e-mail. Consider what percentage of your time you want to spend on each category of activity. and unforeseen situations distract them from achieving their goals. For example. Break down long-term goals into smaller tasks. or you have the sense that you aren't devoting as much time to important tasks or people as you would like. you may need to improve your time management skills. peers. quality control reviews. or production goals. discrete tasks than trying to tackle a large project all at once. A rushed and reactive work style may prevent you from spending time planning and draw you away from your most critical responsibilities. and customers. budgeting. They manage their time in ways that help them stay focused on their top priorities. problem solving. Then.g. 10 hours per week on business development). Start by defining and prioritizing your goals for each area of responsibility listed above. as well as coaching your employees. and expense accounts. You may have goals in several different areas. You’ll have an easier time scheduling and completing smaller.Managing Time If you often feel rushed during the work week. use the "Weekly Goals & Time Allocation" tool to translate them into hourly figures (e. Using time purposefully Setting goals helps you prioritize your many activities and develop a strategy for how you’ll spend your time.

Review your goals and your decisions about how you’ll allocate your time with your manager or a mentor to make sure you are being realistic and consistent with organizational priorities. complete expense reports. Make sure to reserve adequate time for high-priority work. you can appropriately fill the time you have and avoid squandering time trying to remember what you need to do. Your schedule should include time for completing your critical tasks. schedule a couple of hours each day to work on them. schedule high-level strategy meetings or writing in the morning and routine tasks such as responding to e-mails in the afternoon. and the like. Work somewhere other than your office. so build flexibility into your schedule. as well as free time for handling unexpected issues. For example. and meetings. if necessary. A few minutes here and there won’t give you the results you seek. Ask people to respect the time you have blocked out. This practice will help ensure you have time for your most important work. if you need to complete performance reviews with your staff by a certain date. and phone calls. be sure to block out those hours in the software so others will see that they are already reserved. Schedule more difficult tasks during your peak energy hours. Taking control of your time Once you set your goals and create a plan for allocating your time. paperwork. For example. monthly. Use this time to work on your current highest-priority task. respond to e-mails. Use whatever tool works best for your style. For example.and low-energy times. If so. • Reserve time every day to deal with crises and unexpected tasks. ranging from a simple wall calendar to a complex software program. Different scheduling tools work better for different people. You won’t be able to anticipate everything you’ll need to do in a day. Don’t get caught up in how you make your schedule. Use the following guidelines to create a weekly plan: Schedule time to work toward your highest-priority goals first. But be careful—don’t waste this time. If your company uses scheduling software for planning meetings. Consolidating tasks can cut down on this start-up and switching time. visitors. or even weekly in response to changes in the business environment. You may need to review and reprioritize your goals quarterly. you may be more productive and creative in the morning than in the late afternoon. develop a schedule for your week. • . List both quick tasks and more involved ones. • Keep in mind your high. Have a list of things to do if some of your reserved time is not needed. Research indicates that the cost of switching from one task to another and back again could reduce a company’s efficiency by 20% to 40%. • Schedule some time each day to be “off limits” to phone calls and other interruptions. • Consolidate time for tasks such as responding to e-mail. That way.

and coaching people who need help. or allot too little time for addressing unexpected problems? Tool: Evaluating Your Weekly Time Use When you review your week’s activities you’ll probably notice that you weren’t able to control everything in your schedule. If you find that you're overextended. forcing you to run a meeting she had scheduled. For a period of time. if you find yourself unable to complete all high-priority tasks as originally scheduled. you fear that you might not be up to the challenge. But by watching out for some common time management problems. Common reasons for procrastination are that you view a task as being either unpleasant or uninteresting. ask your manager to help you prioritize your tasks.” especially when your boss asks you to do something. You can’t say “no. but still can’t catch up. you’ll be able to make the most of your time. You work extra hours. • Overextending yourself—taking on more than you can handle. For example. or you are overwhelmed by the project. • Failing to delegate—working on tasks that your subordinates could handle. Did you underestimate the time it would take to complete a task. Your job is to help subordinates solve their own problems. use the "Evaluating Your Weekly Time Use" tool to assess how you spend your time. As a manager. you probably need to spend less time “doing” and more time planning work assignments. a co-worker may have been ill. • Assuming your subordinates’ problems—allowing subordinates to delegate their problems to you. • Traveling when you don’t need to—attending a meeting in person when you could participate by phone or video conference.Monitoring your use of time Effective time management takes practice and commitment. make a mental note of what prevented you from doing so. For example. Consider these common traps: Procrastinating—putting off tasks. While the meeting itself • . organizing resources for others.

may be a good use of your time. • To uncover any patterns. For example. Consider asking your manager and colleagues for ideas on how to better use your time based on what you learn from these assessments. Once you identify what is preventing you from reaching your goals. periodically review previous weeks to see how you've actually spent your time versus what you had planned. rework future portions of your schedule to reflect what you have learned. Then periodically assess your progress to look for additional potential improvements. Attending unnecessary meetings—organizing or attending meetings that could be handled by other people or by another means such as an e-mail or memo. you may want to build more free time into your schedule to address unanticipated issues. . the time you waste sitting in taxis or standing in lines to get on the plane may outweigh the benefits of going in person.

MANAGING A GROUP Managing a Group Versus Individuals Learning how to lead a group of individuals is one of the most challenging tasks facing a new manager. Each member of the group supports the group's priorities. the more important it is that your group function well as a team. A common mistake new unit managers make is focusing solely on managing individuals and overlooking the opportunity to manage the group's overall performance. an awareness of what makes a team effective. In contrast. Teamwork is essential to day-to-day operations. The greater the level of interdependence. in groups where employees need to collaborate to complete tasks. Whether you are managing direct reports or leading a multi-functional team of peers. or share the burden of completing a certain volume of work. use the "Evaluating Task Interdependency" tool to analyze the level of interdependence of your group's functions. for example. your task is to encourage collaboration and create an environment that leverages individual talents in the pursuit of common goals. The result achieved by individuals working together as a team is greater than the sum of what individual group members could achieve on their own.5. group performance can likely be improved by strengthening teamwork. To decide how much teamwork might be appropriate for your group. Harnessing the potential power of group performance requires an understanding of the degree of interdependence within your group. yet also realizes a sense of personal • . • Promotes individual growth and job satisfaction. Assessing interdependency If individual group members rely on each other to complete their work. the need for teamwork may be limited in groups where individuals work independently on unrelated tasks. Tool: Evaluating Task Interdependency What is a high-performing team? A high-performing team is one that: Achieves superior performance. and the ability to manage group dynamics.

He achieved a balance between shortterm performance goals and longer-term employee satisfaction. Joe could have required his direct reports to work long hours on tasks that they already knew. managers must learn to balance the group’s output with the individual’s need for personal development and overall satisfaction.satisfaction and growth from his or her contributions to the group's efforts. Joe's employees felt that they had opportunities to pursue personal development goals. had to lead his group to achieve a difficult delivery goal. As a manager. Individuals within a high-performing team learn over time to work together more effectively and how to collectively adapt to changing circumstances and demands. • . Instead. This flexibility results in part from individual team members becoming familiar with each other's work style and likely response to different situations. a unit manager. you can support this process within your group by facilitating greater understanding of how individual strengths contribute to the group’s success and by encouraging the group to implement processes that accommodate different work styles and strengths. he assigned some people to tasks that required them to learn desirable new skills. including: Establishing group processes: Clarify decision-making and communication procedures to promote collaboration and to establish clear expectations. even though this practice slowed progress toward meeting the delivery schedule. As a result. consider the situation in which Joe. For example. To achieve this result. Adjusts and improves over time. • Group strategies The remaining foundations in this module focus on strategies for strengthening teamwork and managing group dynamics.

Also. Use the "Changing Group Processes" tool to plan how you will change existing group processes. Sue’s choice wasn’t necessarily a bad one. Building your team: Ensure that the group has the critical competencies it needs to achieve its goals. bargain for the resources your group needs. As a new manager. Sue later learned that her predecessor had involved everyone in decisions about how the group should be organized.Managing group dynamics: Shape team norms. Identify current processes Consider the following situation: One month after joining her department as manager. Use the "Observing Group Processes" tool to take an inventory of how the group works together. Sue decided to reorganize her group and reassign roles. Establishing Group Processes Group processes include how decisions will be made. She was then surprised to learn that many of her direct reports were angry about the decision and felt that she had overstepped her role. and provide emotional support. Remember that the more involved your employees are in developing process standards. you may have inherited a group of direct reports with established processes for working together. Start by taking a look at what organizational processes are already in place. She announced the decision at a weekly staff meeting. Then identify which processes you may want to modify. how individuals will coordinate their activities. including how team members are to behave toward one another. Clearly defining group processes eliminates confusion over roles and responsibilities. But she could have avoided some of the employee frustration if she had understood her employees' expectations and established in advance that she planned to make this type of organizational decision on her own. • • • • Managing conflict: Constructively manage conflicts between team members to enhance group creativity and problem-solving capabilities. the more empowered they will feel and the more likely it is they will later support them. Providing a supportive environment: Use the physical environment to facilitate collaboration and communication. and what and how information will be communicated within the group. Tools: Observing Group Processes and Changing Group Processes . and whether you want your direct reports to participate in defining the new processes.

• Manager decides with input: The manager gathers input from individuals and then makes the decision. For example: • • • Who will go to the client meeting next week? Should the design of a product be changed to meet a last-minute customer request? Which subcontractor should the team use for its next project? In determining how such decisions will be made. consider the group's past experience and preferences. The ultimate decision may not be an individual’s first choice. Decisions that have limited impact on the group. You and your group will face decisions of varying degrees of complexity and significance.Decision-making processes Establishing ground rules for decision making early in your role as a new manager is critical. relate to a sensitive human resource issue. The more participative approaches generally result in broader support for decisions. as the manager. An individual or small group decides: An individual or small group with relevant experience and skills is selected to make the decision. the need for expediency. but is one that he or she agrees is acceptable. Consider also that you are ultimately responsible for decision making that you delegate to others. The choice that receives the most votes is adopted. There is also no guarantee that a group decision will be the best decision. Managers may also make decisions with peer managers who lead interdependent groups. Some common approaches to decision making include: Majority rule: Individuals meet to discuss alternatives and then vote. Other decisions may not require your involvement and can be delegated to an individual or subgroup with relevant experience. to make on your own or with limited input. • • Consensus: Individuals meet to discuss alternatives and work to find a choice that every member of the team can agree to support. But approaches that involve many people also take more time to execute and therefore are typically reserved for important decisions that impact the whole group. • • Manager decides alone: The manager makes the decision based on his or her own experience and knowledge base. what approach would result in the best decision. Communication . or are time critical may be better for you. usually within parameters specified by the manager. and the risk associated with a wrong decision.

such as in hallway conversations. you should consider how to keep everyone fully informed about decisions and issues that affect them. At the same time. teams that frequently communicate with each other on an informal basis. Did someone underestimate how long it would take to complete a project? What are the implications of the division's renewed focus on customer retention? If you decide to hold staff meetings. include the following: Status updates: These can be written summaries on a periodic basis (weekly or monthly. writing skills. why. In fact. A formal communication process helps ensure that group members receive important information from outside the group as well as share information about activities and issues within the group. • • Staff meetings: A weekly or biweekly staff meeting provides a forum to discuss unresolved issues and challenges. developing the marketing presentation for the unit’s annual strategy meeting requires people with strategic thinking skills. establish a process for creating the agenda and communicating meeting results. Collaborative behavior is difficult to formally design—it often happens (or doesn’t happen) on its own and depends largely on the individuals. Also consider • . and to whom should people send e-mails or other written correspondence? Individuals should receive all information that affects how they will perform their jobs. they will likely work out their own informal means of sharing information. tend to be more effective. and design skills. For example. Use of e-mails and memos: When. But even if your group communicates well informally. Staff meetings also provide an opportunity for team members to share what they have learned from their recent experiences. publicly praise those who go out of their way to help others achieve their goals. For example.When team members work closely with each other on a daily basis. for example) rather than face-to-face meetings. But you can encourage collaborative interactions by: Rewarding collaborative behaviors: Look for opportunities to reward individuals who contribute to the group's success. • Collaboration Collaboration occurs when individuals with similar or complementary skills work together to accomplish a group goal. In defining a communication process. it is not advisable to copy every person in the group on every correspondence.

Deciding how to manage across different time zones. cross-train group members so that they can perform multiple job functions. open disagreement is considered impolite). Different cultures may have different business rewards for achievements resulting from the combined efforts of all of the individuals within the group. or consider asking for volunteers. for example. These virtual team members may be located in different time zones and in different countries. holidays and vacation schedules. measures)? How will you manage differences in national holidays and vacation policies? . communication can be a challenge. Other issues to consider include: • • • • What language will be used for discussions and reports? In what currency will budgets and monetary transactions be expressed? What measurement system will be used for specifications (e. Cross-cultural teams present additional challenges. When working with virtual and cross-cultural groups. metric. so that the burden of working late or starting early is distributed evenly among the different members of the group. This will allow them to more easily step in to assist a coworker with a heavy workload. Before reassigning tasks when one individual is overloaded or falling behind schedule. • Cross-training individuals to perform multiple job functions: When possible. you might wait to see if someone voluntarily offers to help. and defining the authority that the manager has. Significant issues that may need to be addressed include clarifying how individuals will share their opinions (in some cultures. Strategies for managing communications include: Scheduling weekly or even daily conference calls to keep the lines of communication open between team members. • Special considerations for cross-cultural and virtual work groups Today’s work groups often include individuals who are not in the same physical location. or U.S. Tracking the group's progress toward goals: Publishing a record of the group's progress as well as individual workloads will help build the group's awareness of opportunities for collaboration. • • • Encouraging individuals to set aside a regular time during the day to be available for mutual teamwork and discussions. as well as different communication or work styles.. if needed.g. UK. while still holding individuals to the same performance standards. You must be sensitive to cross-cultural issues.

Why do these behaviors matter? Some norms can prevent you from getting the most out of your team. You may also notice that the group often defers to an informal leader who may have more technical expertise or seniority. But you can influence them by encouraging positive norms and discouraging negative ones. individuals who speak a lot in early meetings usually dominate subsequent meetings. you can schedule a weekly meeting or conference call to discuss questions and concerns about a project. acknowledge the other person’s position and ask for further clarification. If someone disagrees with your point of view. and collaboration by modeling these behaviors in your own interactions. For example. Group norms—the behaviors that individuals expect or accept from each other— play a large role in how your group works together. Those who were quiet initially often have a difficult time breaking into conversations later. promote mutual respect. However. even if they aren’t the best choice. you cannot mandate group norms. Such patterns are often established early in the group’s work. Strategies for positively influencing group norms include: Be a role model. regardless of his or her knowledge of the particular issue. open discussion. If the same people are talking all of the time. or that the group won’t defer to the most senior member. But that doesn’t guarantee that one individual won’t dominate the conversation. Establishing group norms You likely manage a pre-existing group that has already established some group norms. constructive debate. For example. For example. Use the "Observing Group Norms" tool to assess your group’s existing norms and to help identify norms you may want to change. • . Managing Group Dynamics The informal interactions in a group are just as important to the overall effectiveness of your team as the formal processes. then their ideas will be heard most often.Formal processes can help define many interactions among group members. Emphasize in your own behavior the norms that you want the group to adopt. For example. research shows that groups tend to adopt the most frequently suggested idea. and you will probably notice that some individuals talk more than others. Observe your group together. Ask other members of the group to share their perspectives on the issue. too. as discussed in the next foundation. Use the "Changing Group Norms" tool to plan how you will influence group norms. informal processes are also important. Strategies for influencing norms Tools: Observing Group Norms and Changing Group Norms For the most part.

if people strive too much for group harmony. For example. While you can’t define all norms. It's often a good idea to allow individuals to work out minor conflicts themselves. For example.Reward positive behavior. your goal is to manage it in a way that produces better ideas and decisions. but you also expect everyone to share relevant information with each other. For example. often called “groupthink. that may override their motivation to debate alternative ideas. you might notice that individuals regularly send out reports a few days after they are due. even if it goes against his or her preferred choice. you might say. assign someone to send out a reminder a few days in advance of a due date. You can make team members' conflict management efforts more productive by helping them recognize others' styles and appreciate the strengths that different styles bring to the group. Individuals are often unaware of the group norms that they have adopted. • Identify desired behaviors. did Tina dominate conversations and hoard project resources for her own benefit? Even if she met her individual goals. you might not want to reward her as much as someone else who achieved their individual goals but also worked to improve • the group's performance overall. • The next foundation discusses how establishing positive norms for managing conflict can help individuals vent disagreements constructively and work together more creatively. In this situation. “Mary's creative way of . For example. To begin to change this norm.” you lose the benefit of having a group of people with different backgrounds and view points. give feedback on how the employee contributed to the group. Reassign roles to encourage others to adopt new norms. explain that you encourage people to defend their views. Not all conflict is bad. Managing Conflict When conflict arises between individuals within your group. In fact. Managing creative conflict Employees sometimes feel frustrated when they work with people who have styles different from theirs. you may want to explicitly state some expected behaviors. When you conduct individual reviews.

Ask other group members if they have any information that supports or contradicts an idea. • Encourage open dialogue. Try to find ways to accommodate differences in opinion among group members. while Marie believes that the June deadline is essential if the group is to meet this year's goals. if Ken prefers to dig into the details but knows that Lauren is a “big picture” thinker. Make it clear that everyone’s input should be valued. How can we capitalize on her fresh perspective?” Another tactic is to educate the group on differences in learning styles and problem solving approaches. People should make an effort to understand and respect different viewpoints. and look for agreement among group members on critical facts. Team-building exercises or personality assessments.thinking helps push the rest of us to question our ideas. • Ask questions. For example. Assign the role of devil's advocate or find other new ways of looking at an issue to help the group come up with more creative solutions to tough problems. To benefit from diverse thinking styles and backgrounds. if Theresa is concerned that a June deadline is high risk. Ask people to support their ideas and opinions with data and rational argument. be open to different perspectives. group members must listen to each other. Insights from such assessments can help your employees be more tolerant of and communicate better with each other. can be useful tools for this purpose.” he can present higher-level arguments to her instead of details. such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. and be willing to objectively question their own beliefs. identify what additional safeguards might be implemented to address Theresa's and Marie's concerns. To encourage these behaviors: Focus discussions on issues and goals. Explain at the outset of a discussion that the purpose is to come up with the best idea or decision for the group using all available information and diverse points of view. • . • Accommodate differences of opinion. For example.

when employees argue with each other.Acknowledge individuals who share their ideas in a positive manner. you may want to intervene if: Tool: Conflict Resolution Analysis • • • • The disagreement impacts the group’s productivity The problem is between an assertive person and a timid one The disagreement expands to include additional group members One or both of the individuals involved asks you for help When you intervene in an interpersonal conflict. In general. Therefore. listen to each other. • When to intervene in interpersonal conflicts Sometimes disagreements between employees escalate to a point where you. and interpersonal skills. and identify potential solutions. you probably inherited your group of direct reports. After the employees agree on a plan of action. However. Over time. your current employees may be strong technically. but may lack organizational skills or have few contacts outside of the department. look for areas of agreement. problemsolving. need to take direct action. Use the "Conflict Resolution Analysis" tool to help you evaluate whether to intervene in an interpersonal conflict and to document your discussions with the employees involved. For example. your role is to help the employees define the problem. such as organizational. Assessing your group's needs Before you begin the hiring process you'll want to think strategically about what skills and personal attributes would be helpful to the group. Recognize and thank people who were willing to take the risk of challenging your ideas or those of another group member. however. follow up with them to see how it is working. it may be best to give them an opportunity to work out the issue on their own. as manager. either to replace departing employees or to add additional capacity or skills to your group. you will likely need to make new hires. Use the "Skill and Work Style Needs" tool to evaluate . Point out how well they focused on the issues at hand and how maintaining focus helped the group to advance its thinking. someone who is very organized or has a large network of contacts might be a good addition to the group—even if he or she is not as strong technically as another candidate. Building Your Team As a new manager.

They hold an advantage in creative tasks and problem solving. a parent of an urban teenager. If the team is comprised solely of individuals who are good at generating creative ideas but who lack analytical skills. or problem-solving styles could benefit your team. Your employees may become frustrated with each other more quickly and your group may split into factions. For example. The ideal group would include both creative and analytical skill sets. consider a team at a shoe manufacturer that is responsible for designing sports shoes for urban young adults. Tool: Skill and Work Style Needs If managed well. Hiring considerations While diversity can have great benefits. The group might also benefit from other diverse perspectives—for example. someone who prefers to brainstorm and think creatively might be a good balance to a group that tends to focus only on numbers and charts when making decisions. For example. an individual who lacks direct sales experience but who has worked with customers in a support role may bring a fresh perspective to the sales team.your group’s skill set to identify qualities you might look for when searching for a new member. it can take much longer to make a decision when individuals interpret and respond to situations in different ways. the team runs the risk of producing ideas that don’t fit the criteria that its customers require. make better decisions. consider how diverse perspectives. Similarly. It may also be more challenging to get people to trust each other because of different work styles or communication habits. People from different countries and cultures can also bring greater cultural awareness and different communication and work styles to your group. or someone with direct sales experience in the target market. cultural backgrounds. and generate more potential solutions to challenging situations. Group diversity can also make team process more difficult. diverse groups tend to be more innovative. Potential benefits of diversity In addition to specific skills. . don’t immediately rush to hire someone just because he or she brings a different perspective or skill to your group. professional experience. For example.

they are more likely to talk and share ideas. But. but you can still look for ways to use the space you have been given more effectively. When people are near each other. consider your group’s primary responsibilities when deciding what to look for in a new hire. • Create spaces to encourage communication: Informal and formal conversations are important components of teamwork. you may not want to add someone whose work style is dramatically different from that of existing team members. . Providing a Supportive Environment A supportive physical and psychological environment can help you transform a group of individuals into a high-performing team.Because of these potential challenges. For example. For example. if your group needs to innovate or frequently has to overcome challenging problems. Consider the following ideas: Locate people who need to collaborate near each other: Research shows that people tend to collaborate more and work better together when they are located in proximity to each other. invite your group to join you for lunch once a week. consider adding people with diverse styles and backgrounds. • Resources and tools Beyond creating group spaces. such as a common lunch room or a lounge. • Plan events that bring people together: Create opportunities for individuals to meet and talk informally. part of your job as a manager is to provide your direct reports with the tools and resources they need to work together effectively. Physical spaces. For example. if you are consistently under time pressure to complete analytic reports. or begin each month with an informal breakfast meeting. The physical environment The physical environment in which your team works can help promote group work and collaboration. can encourage the casual conversations that can help build friendships and trust. You may not have much control over the actual office space. place whiteboards or drawing pads and plenty of pens in both your formal and informal gathering places to encourage people to brainstorm and explore their ideas while they are talking.

may help. Technology: Consider technologies that could help your group work together more efficiently. such as working in a group. Use the "Group Resources Needs" and the "Physical Environment Inventory" tools to assess your group’s needs. Potential training topics range from interpersonal issues.g. or seek approval to hire temporary help or even an additional team member. Individuals who travel frequently may need a contact management system or remote electronic access to shared work files. People: Does your group have the right number of people with appropriate skills to achieve its goals? Are individuals overwhelmed or overextended? You may need to seek help from another department (e. if you notice that some members of your group seem not to trust each other. A white board that lists group projects and expected delivery dates can help keep everyone aware of the group’s current obligations. such as learning how to use a particular software program. a team-building workshop. Perhaps it’s a scheduling tool or knowledge management software. where roles and interdependencies are clarified and differences are celebrated. Training: Consider whether any group members need training to contribute more to the team. technical assistance from the IT group). to technical issues.. Tools: Group Resources Needs and Physical Environment Inventory Rewards and emotional support . Make sure that work spaces are stocked with needed tools. For example. work with your supervisor to look for ways to cost effectively obtain the resources you need.To promote effective teamwork. You may want to set up a team website with all of your group’s relevant information such as prototypes and meeting minutes. to enable individuals to post their work and communicate with each other. Then. consider the following categories of resources and how they might benefit your group: Equipment: Consider how group members will communicate with each other.

if your group has been working extra hours on a presentation for a major client. Then celebrate the achievement of those milestones.A supportive environment also provides the emotional encouragement people need to feel that they are valued members of the group and helps motivate individuals to work together to achieve common goals. Another way to motivate your group is to encourage individuals to focus on immediate milestones. they can more easily become frustrated with each other. encourage everyone to enjoy some unscheduled time soon after it is completed. For example. . Recognizing small achievements helps keep the group excited and on track toward achieving larger goals. A common mistake new managers make is to only provide feedback when something goes wrong or during a scheduled annual or semi-annual review. Finally. Look for opportunities to relieve tension and stress. Help bolster employee confidence and build an optimistic outlook by providing regular positive feedback. recognize that when people are exhausted or overwhelmed. Much of the psychological support you provide will be in the form of feedback and rewards.

Once you understand your boss’s agenda. • Helping your boss achieve unit goals. and individual ranks. And you can cultivate a partnership that enables each of you to support the organization’s objectives. • Resolving conflicting expectations. ensuring it gets the resources it needs. you can see more clearly how his or her everyday work contributes to the company’s strategy. Your company’s high-level. Your boss’s agenda might comprise: • • His or her daily responsibilities. and challenges The goals your boss has set for the larger unit or department he or she leads—such as strengthening the unit’s performance. you’ll need to take steps to understand your boss’s agenda. By understanding your boss’s agenda. A clear understanding of your boss’s agenda enables you to make informed judgment calls about what information he or she will want from you—and how often. It also enables you to clarify your • . managerial. you can more easily develop ways to help your boss meet those goals. it’s important that you take the time to understand your boss’s agenda: Supporting corporate strategy. and improving the way the unit works with other groups The outcomes your boss expects of each individual and unit under his or her direction • • The criteria by which your boss’s superiors judge his or her performance Why understand your boss’s agenda? For several reasons. When you know what your boss is trying to achieve in his or her unit.6. An agenda can consist of many elements. and how your work fits into the bigger picture. This appreciation can help resolve any conflict between your and your boss’s expectations about your responsibilities. pressures. you may develop a greater appreciation for why he or she wants you to generate certain results in your group. SUPPORTING YOUR BOSS & ORGANIZATION Understanding Your Boss’s Agenda As you settle into your new managerial role. competitive strategy cascades down through the executive. • Clarifying information needs.

To gain that understanding. • Tool: Understanding Your Boss's Agenda A solid understanding of your boss’s agenda yields numerous important benefits. Resolving conflicting work styles Managing up also helps you resolve differences in work styles—a common problem between new managers and their bosses. • • • • Understanding the demands and pressures your boss is under. “managing up” isn’t about currying favor with your boss. Consider these possible work-style differences: You . .’s priorities and determine to which issues and events you should alert your boss. By understanding how your boss’s performance will be judged by his or her superiors—as well as how those criteria relate to your own group’s performance—you can better define ways to support your boss’s efforts. and interpersonal capabilities). Respond to requests for information from your boss quickly But your boss . it’s about finding ways to support your supervisor and cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship that enables both of you to succeed. you and your boss are mutually dependent—just as you and your direct reports are. Managing up helps you ensure that both you and your boss get what you need to excel. The keys to managing up include: Gaining insight into your boss’s strengths and weaknesses (such as his or her leadership skills.” The benefits of “managing up” Contrary to what many business people assume. communicate. When you manage up effectively. Helping your boss meet performance criteria. and make decisions with your boss. creativity. Knowing how best to collaborate. . Clarifying the personal goals he or she is striving to meet. it’s important that you learn how to “manage up. you have a better chance of getting the resources you need to do your job—and you work more effectively with your boss. . After all. Takes his or her time getting back to you with information you need . .

you might be more likely to get your boss’s input on key decisions when you need that input. In this case. But by making such an accommodation. Accept that it is your responsibility to make the relationship run smoothly. . You may feel that this effort takes too much of your time. . . and identify any changes you need to make in your work habits to accommodate your boss's stylistic preferences. Believe it’s better for a manager to stay more involved in the details of direct reports’ work Prefer to mull over as much information as possible before making a decision But your boss . For example. . even if all the required information isn’t at hand Generate your most creative Is most creative when he or ideas during face-to-face. suppose your boss prefers to receive written summaries of important issues before making a decision. she has structured time alone impromptu discussions to brainstorm How to resolve differences in work styles Take the initiative to articulate important differences with your boss and to clarify expectations about how you can best work together. decisive action. . you need to learn to prepare written summaries for your boss. Believes that effective managers delegate responsibility to their direct reports without interfering Values quick. but you feel more comfortable discussing decisions face to face.You .

You pay attention to clues in your boss’s behavior—signals suggesting how he or she prefers to receive information. you’ll want to touch base less frequently. asking him or her questions. and talking with others who know and work with your boss. when to deliver discouraging news about a project. Does your boss like to be highly involved in decisions? If so. • • • You stay alert for opportunities to clarify your boss’s performance expectations. you might send brief agendas several days before a meeting to help your boss prepare. • Decision-making style. Keep her informed— providing both good and bad news through processes that suit her style. if your boss likes to deeply explore issues before forming an opinion. or how often your boss needs to meet with you to stay informed. touch base frequently during the decision-making process. You should assume responsibility for initiating the discussion. Or. Don’t underestimate or make assumptions about what your boss needs to know about your work. How will he evaluate your performance? What standards will he want you to strive for? Verify your understanding of your responsibilities and performance standards with your boss to avoid misunderstandings. The next foundation addresses this subject. and pressures—knowing that his or her priorities and concerns can change. problems. it shows in the following ways: You regularly seek out information about your boss’s goals. For example. Find • . • Communication preferences. • Now that you know the benefits of understanding your boss’ agenda. You accommodate your boss’s work style in ways that help him or her become even more effective. you’re ready to learn how to begin building a strong partnership with him or her. does your boss prefer to delegate? In this case.Hallmarks of a mutually beneficial relationship When you’ve built a strong partnership with your boss. yet also inform him or her about important decisions you’ve made. Building a Strong Partnership with Your Boss Don’t assume that your supervisor will initiate conversations about how the two of you can best work together. assess the following: Performance expectations. Find out what your boss expects from you. Forging a partnership How can you best begin building a strong partnership with your boss? Through observing your supervisor.

• Respect your boss’s time. Specifically: Demonstrate dependability. communication. and how much detail she wants. Or he or she has asked you take on a new initiative without providing the resources— personnel. and yours. office space. budget—that you believe the project requires. Follow through on all commitments and promises you’ve made to your boss. Perhaps your boss wants you to spend more time on a project you consider less crucial than other efforts. rather than consuming your supervisor’s time and attention. your boss’s. provide the reason for the delay.out how often your supervisor likes to be updated. When a project gets off track or an initiative goes over budget. Handle less-critical matters yourself or delegate them. let you boss know immediately. Again. equipment. Being a model partner Investing time to determine your boss’s expectations and preferences regarding decision making. • Be honest. Tool: Forging a Partnership Use the "Forging a Partnership" tool to develop ideas for working productively with your boss. • Negotiating with your boss It’s a given that you and your supervisor will occasionally disagree. what form she prefers (written reports? face-to-face meetings?). . before they become unmanageable. and performance expectations can help you forge a strong working relationship with your supervisor. By applying several additional principles. and provide the reason why. If you think you may be delayed in delivering on a commitment. you can further strengthen that partnership. He or she will likely want to be informed of problems as early as possible. Ask for your supervisor’s time and resources only to meet the most important goals—the company’s. don’t shrink from sharing the bad news with your boss.

Look for ways to focus on high-priority goals rather than spending all your time fighting fires. For example. For example. you’ll earn even more of your boss’s appreciation and respect—two essential ingredients in a positive partnership. One option is to hire temporary help for a few days to cover that end of things. If you and your boss disagree on some expectations or priorities. but that will mean the key-account analysis may have to wait a week or two. For example: Frame proposals in terms of business results. the less you’ll need to ask of your boss. identify those you consider the most important. If your supervisor has piled one too many major projects on you. By strengthening your effectiveness. But I think if we can complete that market research project. For instance. Then make a compelling business case to persuade your boss to agree to those you consider most important. “I’d be glad to work this new report into my schedule. Consider these examples: Managing demands. you may need to call on your powers of negotiation and persuasion to resolve disagreements. then use your resulting credibility to argue convincingly for funding a larger effort. Then present alternatives for his or her consideration.In such cases.” • Present consequences and alternatives. • . Win needed resources by demonstrating your ability to produce results. respectfully explain what the consequences may be if you take on the extra work. overhaul an inefficient process. what additional precautions can you take to avoid getting caught in firefighting mode? • Generating resources. “I know you’d prefer that I focus on other priorities. What do you think?” • Strengthening your effectiveness The more you can learn to manage your job responsibilities effectively yourself. we’ll be in a much better position to get an early start on the new product line. Given the many demands that you face.

Draw on your expertise to anticipate—and circumvent—possible obstacles to achieving your goals. your organization may have a very different • . Even if you’ve heard a lot of talk about innovation. if appropriate. develop several contingency plans in case a particular decision doesn’t go your way or a project doesn’t go as well as expected. and increasing brand awareness. For example. or expanding product lines? Consider where the company’s resources are going. strengthening customer relationships. Only then can you identify ways for your group to help execute the strategy. suppose your company envisions becoming the most recognized name in health-care services nationwide. your company defines a strategy that entails improving service quality. does the subject of getting costs in line keep coming up? Are you noticing frequent mention of enhancing top-line growth. consider taking these steps: Seek your boss’s interpretation of the strategy and. No matter what strategy your organization has defined. building market share. But a strong partnership isn’t enough: You also need to understand how your and your supervisor’s work relates to your organization’s high-level strategy. Notice what executives are talking about.Identifying alternatives. and other documents for insights into the company’s strategic aims. • By building a strong partnership with your boss. • • • Examine speeches by your company’s CEO. How to determine your company’s strategy If your organization has not published or announced an explicit statement about its strategy. reports to shareholders. For example. The next foundation examines this subject. To realize that vision. For example. his or her supervisor’s view. or its compelling image of the future. it won’t make the high-level vision real unless you and other managers throughout the company understand that strategy. you boost the chances that the two of you will accomplish important goals together. it has defined a strategy—a plan for realizing its vision. Understanding Your Organization’s Strategy If your company is like most.

The purchasing unit might survey vendors’ prices to find opportunities for savings. Check your understanding of the corporate strategy with other managers around you. They may have access to additional information that can help flesh out the strategic picture for you. it’s vital that unit managers—such as your boss and his or her peers —align their goals with the company’s strategy. Tool: Clarifying Strategy Use the "Clarifying Strategy" tool to help you better understand your company's and unit's strategy. For instance: The product development unit might set out to streamline development processes to lower costs. say your executive team has defined a strategy that entails providing high-quality products at the lowest possible cost. unit leaders would each develop a set of strategic objectives that would enable them to support the company-wide strategy—possibly calling on you and other group leaders for input while defining the unit goals. . In this case. For example. Aligning company and unit goals In all organizations. • • • The logistics unit could work toward centralizing certain supply chain processes to deliver products to customers more efficiently.strategic objective if it’s investing most of the expenditure pie in marketing existing product lines.

you and your supervisor design an initiative aimed at improving call center employees’ knowledge of company products. achieving the unit goals your boss has defined requires changes in the way your direct reports do their work. Tool: Managing Change As a group manager or leader. and to change the way they go about their work. Change initiatives often call for employees to replace old beliefs and assumptions with new. Defining a Vision for Your Group Similar to a company’s high-level vision. master new ways of conversing with customers on the phone. it’s crucial to remember that many people find change difficult—even painful. The "Managing Change" tool is designed to help you plan how to manage change initiatives affecting your direct reports. Regardless of who conceives of or launches a change initiative. unfamiliar ones. Effective . and demonstrate more effective problem-solving techniques. The next foundation explores this aspect of supporting your boss and organization. suppose your unit has defined a goal of improving customer service.Guiding your employees through change Oftentimes. Key change management practices include: Explaining why the change initiative is important and how it connects to the company’s overarching goals • • • • • • Pointing out how your employees will benefit from the change Celebrating short-term successes to build momentum for further change Acknowledging the pain that change provokes Communicating your confidence in your staff’s ability to change the way they work Gaining your employee’s buy-in for the change initiative by inviting them to offer ideas for making the change happen Once you understand your company’s strategy and your unit’s goals. you can support the corporate strategy and your unit’s goals by helping your employees navigate the rocky terrain of change. For example. As part of this effort. This initiative will require your employees to attend workshops on the enterprise’s product lines. your vision for your group reflects your and your employees’ shared image of what you can achieve together in the future. to adopt new ways of thinking. you can define a vision for your group—a compelling image of what your employees can accomplish in the future.

perhaps your vision might call for drastically reducing employee turnover —so workers can form more positive. For example. suppose your organization’s strategy hinges on creating exciting new products or services for customers at the lowest possible cost.” Use the "Developing Your Group's Vision" tool to craft a preliminary vision statement that you will refine over time as you communicate your vision to others and test its effectiveness. • It expresses your group’s core values and visions incorporate images of valuable contributions your group could make in support of company. commitment. communicating problems and concerns • .” “We will generate the highest levels of customer loyalty ever seen in this company. unit. long-term relationships with customers. Your group vision makes it clear what the future work environment will look like once your group has realized its vision. These values might include respecting fellow team members’ ideas. Some examples of a group vision are: “We will streamline all our work processes to achieve unprecedented speed and efficiency.” • • • • • “We will create innovative products that score huge successes in the marketplace. or you can develop a preliminary vision statement on your own and then gather feedback from others. you can develop a vision that supports that strategy. if you’re in the marketing department.” “We will become the most cost-effective group in our division. If you lead a human resources team.” “We will embrace change with courage. you might envision a future in which your group designs innovative ad campaigns that break the mold. and compassion. Effective group visions help support your company’s larger strategic goals. You might ask your key employees to participate in crafting a vision statement. • It paints a clear picture of the future. and individual goals. Your vision for your group should reflect the values you and your employees prize—the guiding principles by which your group carries out its work. Hallmarks of an effective group vision Tool: Developing Your Group's Vision An effective group vision has several distinct characteristics: It aligns with your company’s competitive strategy. For instance. No matter which group you lead.

pitching in as needed. Your vision should also support your group’s purpose within the larger organization. The following steps can help you align individual goals with your organization’s competitive strategy and your unit’s goals. you’ll have difficulty realizing that vision unless you translate it into actionable individual goals for your group. and so forth.” Effective statements get your and your employees' competitive and creative juices flowing. It is expressed in concise. Think about the vision you defined for your group. you achieve what’s known as alignment. it also encompasses other goals related to continual performance improvement within your group. The best group visions can be communicated in concise. • No matter how inspiring your vision for your group might be. inspiring language to your “troops” in the form of a vision statement. For example. Your vision for your group not only supports your company’s high-level strategy. Aligning Individual Goals with Company & Unit Goals Now that you’ve defined a compelling vision for your group that is aligned with your company and unit goals. suppose you lead a customer service group and you’ve defined a vision in which your group sets new standards in the .promptly and honestly. inspiring language. Then ask yourself what actions your group must take to make the vision real. For example. your vision will be most effective if it conveys specific images of how your employees might better serve customers in the future. if you lead a customer service group. 1. For instance.” “our. how might you turn that vision into concrete action steps? You translate your vision into individual goals—for yourself and each direct report. When you manage this process deftly. perhaps you envision helping your employees to feel more comfortable taking risks and learning from mistakes as a way to enhance their creative thinking and ability to innovate. Define the performance measures and execution strategies that are critical for your group to achieve in order to meet their goals.” and “together. well-crafted vision statements evoke a powerful sense of team—often by using words such as • “we. The next foundation offers guidelines for navigating this translation process. As the above examples suggest. It inspires enhanced performance in your group.

Identify misalignments Now assess how well each of the following aspects* of your group currently supports the critical factors you’ve defined: Success strategy. Nov. those aspects of your group are likely misaligned and do not support your critical factors. and assumptions about how work should be done to make its vision real? For example. What approach will your group use to achieve its critical factors? For instance. Do you have the right people. norms. "Organizational Alignment: The 7-S Model" by Jeffrey L. Perhaps you’ve determined that this vision of unparalleled customer service supports your unit’s strategy of improving customer loyalty. and with the right skills—such as a sufficient number of call center representatives who can answer customers’ calls on the first or second ring? • Shared values. think in the broadest terms possible about how you can make your group’s vision real. is your group organized so that customers have easy access to people who can solve their problems? • Systems. 19. Harvard Business School Note. Bradach. in the right jobs. 1996. In this case.'s 7S framework for organizational analysis. critical factors for your group might include the following: • • • • Reducing errors in order fulfillment Solving callers’ problems more quickly and effectively Deepening your staff’s knowledge of company products and customers’ needs Improving customers’ perceptions of your group’s competence To define these factors. If you answer “No” to any of these questions. do they make customer satisfaction and loyalty top priorities? Do they genuinely care about serving customers? • *Adapted from McKinsey & Co. Does your group have the systems required to achieve the critical factors? For instance. 2.quality of the service it provides. . which in turn aligns with the company’s strategy of increasing market share. does current technology enable your employees to accurately track customer’s order status? • Skills. will you seek to increase the number of new product ideas your group generates? Attract a new customer segment? • Structure. Does your group hold the right values. How well is your group set up to support achieving its critical factors? For example.

For example. skills. structure. systems.Also look for misalignments between these aspects of your group. You have If: misalignment : Between success strategy and skills Your success strategy is to increase the number of new product ideas your R&D group generates Your success strategy is to focus on a new customer segment in your marketing group And: Your group doesn’t understand the latest techniques and support tools that would let you run more experiments faster than before The group hasn’t established an effective way to compile and analyze information about those customers Your group hasn’t set up communication systems that enable experts from different product teams to share their knowledge Between success strategy and systems Between You’ve organized structure and your product systems development group members by product line to focus specialized technical expertise on specific products 3. Identify changes to correct misalignments Ask yourself what changes in your group’s success strategy. The table below shows some examples. do your employees need to attend a training session on conducting R&D experiments? Should . and shared values would help correct any misalignment.

Craft individual goals Define individual goals in concrete terms. achievable. Finally. starting immediately. These ideas can form the basis of their individual goals. Invite your employees to share their own ideas for aligning their efforts with group goals. check that the individual goals continue to be aligned with group goals. . Company Unit Goal Group Goal Goal Enhance Reduce profitability costs of serving customers Install new customer database by yearend.” “By March compile a profile of customers that increased purchases by 20 percent during the previous year. well-crafted goals are SMART: specific. measurable. Each staff member completes training on new database by end of quarter. in product development. realistic. The table below shows several examples of how this alignment might look. which in turn should support unit and company goals. to deepen her knowledge of company offerings. and time-bound. Charles is answering 75 percent of customer calls on the first ring two months from now. Increase brand strength Improve customer loyalty Increase repeat purchases by key customers 20 percent over the next year. John analyzes key customers’ purchasing habits within two weeks. For example: “Complete training on new customer database by year end. Individual Goals Alyssa researches five available databases over the coming month and provides her recommendations. and passes a test with a score of at least 80 out of a possible 100. Sylvia begins “cross-selling” to each caller.” Ask yourself what each of your employees needs to do in order to support the group goals you’ve design more effective customer surveys that generate the information your group needs to design marketing campaigns that appeal to a new customer segment? What about setting up a series of meetings or mentoring relationships that enable technical experts from different product teams to share their knowledge? The changes you identify should become the basis for your group’s individual goals.” “Conduct two web-based seminars by the close of the third quarter. As you may recall. 4. Marion starts spending one hour every week with Pat.

Tool: Checking Goal Alignment Use the "Checking Goal Alignment" tool to verify that your individual goals are aligned with company and unit goals. unit goals. But the rewards are worth it. Aligning individual goals with group goals. When you achieve alignment. you help ensure that everyone in your group is pulling in the same direction—the direction your company has defined as crucial for its success. and your company’s high-level strategy takes time and skill. .

peers within and outside your organization. may include: Other managers working in different functional areas or regions in your organization • • • • Former peers and bosses who now work at other companies Suppliers and customers with whom you regularly interact Influential and knowledgeable people you know from participating in professional association meetings and other outside business activities As you might guess. if you work in human resources and are responsible for helping to develop a new recruiting web site. networks can take several forms. or peers. NETWORKING WITH COLLEAGUES The Importance of Peer Networks Before you started in your new role as a manager. your boss. on whom you depend to accomplish your work.7. For instance. For example: Organizational: Your organizational network might comprise relationships with colleagues who work within your department or in other functional areas or regions. Your colleagues. But what is networking. and direct reports. This Stepping Up to Management module focuses on networking with colleagues. you’ll likely need to interact productively with people from • . exactly? And why take time to network with colleagues—when you’ve got so many other responsibilities to worry about? What is networking? In its most general sense. or a coach may have counseled you to network with peers inside and outside your organization. networking is the cultivating of mutually beneficial relationships with superiors. friends.

networking with colleagues helps you: Receive emotional support so you can more effectively cope with the challenges of management • • Explore ideas for improving your group’s productivity and performance or addressing thorny “people management” problems .the IT department. These peers can often provide useful suggestions for handling management challenges and recommendations for future vendors or employees. Why network with colleagues? Cultivating a diverse. perhaps you’ve met numerous individuals through a manager orientation program who share interests similar to yours. these connections enable you to build trust so you can: • More easily procure the resources and support your group needs to do its work Protect your group from overly demanding requests from other departments or teams • • • • • Clarify your peers’ needs so your people can support other units’ efforts Learn from other managers’ leadership styles and problem-solving strategies Gather “penalty-free” feedback on your performance as a manager Share and learn from your shared managerial experiences In addition. extensive network with colleagues generates important benefits. Informal: Your informal network may contain bonds you’ve formed with peers inside and outside your organization based more on positive chemistry or mutual interests rather than project-specific work. and you feel a kinship with them. You may want to cultivate workplace relationships with these peers for the mutual advice and support they provide. • Personal: A personal network may consist of connections with individuals outside your organization—such as former colleagues or bosses. • Tool: Cultivating Your Network Use the "Cultivating Your Network" tool to identify your existing network members and to plan how you will manage these relationships. For example. as well as emotional support as you transition into your new role. For example. as well as managers throughout the company who will provide information on what they need from the new web site.

• . you need to achieve a balance between the reality of competing for resources. and promotions and the need to collaborate. peer networking has become more essential than ever in today’s business world. Taking the initiative It’s easy to form bonds with others who are like you. project opportunities. Clearly. In fact. involving multiple functions within and even between companies. To master this competency. Consider these approaches: Join a task force—these provide excellent opportunities for you to encounter peers who work in different functional areas from yours.Broaden your understanding of how the different parts of your organization work together • • • • Obtain guidance on how your decisions or actions might affect various stakeholders and influence events in the long run Challenge any incorrect assumptions you might have made about the managerial role Transition smoothly back into your organization when you return home from any expatriate assignments In addition to offering these valuable benefits. check back with that person in the next month or two to see what problems you might provide assistance with. That means looking for ways to give back as much as they receive from their network members. peer networking has become a crucial business competency. Building a Successful Network How might you begin building your peer network? Start by understanding the core premise of networking: mutual benefit. To ensure that you reap the benefits of a diverse network. Those who are most successful at building networks also think about how they can ensure that their networking relationships are mutually beneficial. To forge bonds with colleagues. if someone helped you recently by locating a needed resource quickly. some managers ask for advice about especially difficult problems only from peers in other parts of the organization or in other corporations. For example. outsourcing. you will need to learn to actively manage and cultivate your network. In addition. change has grown increasingly complex. to remove peers’ concerns about competition. and virtual teams—all of which require managers to get things done through people over whom they have no formal authority. The next foundation discusses strategies for building your network. it’s important to actively shape its membership. Why? More organizations are using flatter management structures.

and with colleagues who can influence others. commit to having lunch each Thursday with a different manager inside or outside your organization whom you don’t know well but who may play an important role in a project you’ll be leading. • Tool: Assessing Your Peer Image . in respectful. For example. Consider these practices: Discuss. Request specific examples of your behaviors that aren’t working. • Work to understand your peers’ biggest challenges and concerns.Invite candid feedback from peers—especially those who may not be your biggest fans. with individuals to whom others go for advice and support. and how others in your organization feel about your leadership style. Networking relationships in which members embrace their differences and productively talk about difficult or awkward issues are more successful than those in which the partners ignore tough topics or mimic one another’s styles. • Win your colleagues’ trust and respect by showing your willingness to work hard. strengthen your network bonds with new and existing network members by demonstrating integrity and discipline. • • Be sure to forge bonds with peers who “make things happen” in your organization. any sensitive issues that arise owing to differences between you and your peers. and identify ways to help them. productive ways. and demonstrate honesty. Ask them to tell you honestly how they feel about your performance as a manager. Demonstrating integrity and discipline In addition to initiating connections with potential peer-network members. how you’ve gone about your work. Ask their opinions on what you’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) so far. • Dedicate a specific amount of time each day or week to building your peer network. Follow through with promises you’ve made.

In the following foundation. as well as solicit their ideas for gathering the needed information most efficiently. The Power of Influence To gain the many benefits afforded by your peer network—such as assistance on a project. coalition building plays a vital role in influence. Influence isn’t about manipulating others into going against their values or goals to do what you want. Exercising influence typically involves an exchange of “currencies. You’ll make them feel engaged in your idea. Currencies can take many forms. attitudes. you’ll need other managers throughout the organization to take time to input their customer data into the new centralized repository. When you need one or more peers’ support on a project. or access to important people in the organization—you can’t rely on power. Some examples are: Consultation Being consulted can be a valued currency. take time to ask their opinions—positive and negative—about the initiative you’re championing. But many of them may feel they’re too busy to do so. For example. the effort is well worth it. Instead. By offering their ideas and knowing that you’re hearing their concerns. they may feel more willing to provide the support you need. they exert more influence than one lone proponent. and therefore more committed to supporting it. suppose you’re responsible for setting up a new database in your company. you’ll learn more about how to garner the benefits your peer network offers in exerting influence. You can’t order them to provide the data.Developing your peer network takes time and patience—and often the dividends don’t come until much later. you must use your influence skills. and behaviors to suit your interests as well as theirs. .” where each party gains something of value. Coalition building When several people advocate an idea. you could involve them in the project by asking them what kinds of reports and other information they would like to see the new system provide. But what is influence. If you can gather together influential colleagues to form a “single body of authority. exactly? It is the mechanism by which you change others’ opinions. it’s about getting results that benefit both parties. as many new managers have discovered. In this case.” you stand a better chance of winning other peers’ support for a proposal or initiative. For this reason. advice on an initiative you’re considering. But. For the project to succeed. Rather. That’s because you don’t have formal authority over members of your peer network. so you’ll have to win their commitment through other means.

if you discover that you and a colleague have a common passion for sailing and spend many moments chatting enjoyably about the sport. when you need it. Leveraging company loyalty At times. as well as communicate your own. And when people like one another. You believe that Graham can help coach her . suppose your company has a mentoring program based on cross-functional pairings of mentors and protégés. For example. a bond based on friendship may begin to emerge.How to identify potential coalition members? Ask yourself whose “blessing” you need— whether in the form of political support or access to important resources or individuals— to put your idea into action. or offering information your colleague needs to make an important decision. Sometimes merely striking up a workplace relationship with peers based on shared interests and values can enable you to strengthen your influence. one of your employees. For example. you can influence a colleague to act in your mutual interests by evoking his or her responsibilities to the company’s greater good. be sure they meet your peers' needs. And look for opportunities to communicate your needs. Establishing common ground Take time to discover your peers’ interests and values. For instance. Other ways of helping might include introducing a peer to an influential person who can help her career. Providing resources or assistance The simple act of doing favors for a peer can boost your chances of getting some form of help and support from that person later. you might lend a colleague a few hours of one of your employee’s time to help him finish a project on deadline. You want Graham. Any of these individuals would be useful members of a coalition. a manager in another unit. Sylvia is a talented employee who needs to improve her assertiveness and decision-making skills. Or maybe you provide advice or moral support to help a peer solve a pressing problem. Also ask whose buy-in is crucial to your initiative’s success. they are more apt to help each other when the need arises. Whatever forms of currency you offer. to serve as mentor to Sylvia. so your peers will know what types of currencies you might value in return.

suppose you want a colleague to commit part of his group’s budget to a new IT system you’re advocating. For example. . Justifying your position Provide numerical and other information relevant to your idea: “I’ve done a bit of research on this. to coach Sylvia: “You’re very well-regarded by high-level people in this organization.” Present your data in a way that highlights your main points.” These and other techniques can help you influence your peer network members so that each of you gains something of value. you might influence Graham’s decision by pointing out how much he’ll be helping the company overall by enabling Sylvia. But Graham says he’s too busy to spend several hours a week mentoring Sylvia. we retain valued employees rather than losing them to competing companies that can offer them better developmental opportunities. The next foundation presents several potent persuasion tactics The Practice of Persuasion In addition to using consultation and other influence-related tactics. especially for your decision-making abilities. Take a look at these reports from Talisman Co. and the new IT system I’m advocating could help you and other managers throughout our company lower your costs by 20 percent and improve group productivity at least 30 percent. it’s reasonable that everyone help fund the system—and that his costs will include ongoing amounts for training and technical support as well as an initial outlay. Consider these “seven levers” of persuasion: Presenting logical arguments Present all relevant considerations of an idea. you might also acknowledge why you want Graham.—they used the same system. rather than someone else. You might persuade him by explaining that because the new system would benefit every part of the organization. you can also use persuasion to get the most from your peer network. you can use persuasion techniques to strike mutually beneficial arrangements with members of your peer network. These are the cost and productivity gains they achieved by adopting this system. In addition to influence. without overwhelming your audience with too much detail. Tool: Leveraging Your Influence Here. and they’re similar in size and structure to our company. a high-potential employee. to develop her skills: “Whenever managers fulfill their mentoring responsibilities.” While you’re at develop these skills. including its pros and cons.

and draw on them to persuade your peers. I’ve just seen a report that says more and more organizations are . you could show your peers bar charts or graphs depicting the cost savings and productivity improvements they stand to gain if they help fund the new system. if you find out through interacting with your network peers that they’re worried about rising costs. Remember that a concern need not always be "logical" to become an obstacle to agreement—some concerns are based on beliefs or feelings rather than facts.” Providing incentives Provide incentives for your peers to support your ideas. Using effective descriptions Present your ideas in a variety of formats. or process inefficiencies in their groups. the marketing manager was initially skeptical about this same thing—just as you are now. For instance. including stories. you stand a better chance of gaining their support. you could use a story to strengthen your case: “At my last company. “Jim.Appealing to others' interests By framing your ideas in terms that appeal to your peers’ concerns. You could also look for and present some compelling statistics about your idea. “Sixty percent of companies that adopt this type of system go on to improve their market share by at least 10 percent. For example. and he loved it. statistics. and graphics. you might mention your willingness to help the person in ways that address his or her most pressing challenges.” Finally. But we ran a small pilot project to show him how it worked. In the IT-system case. For example. For example. declining productivity. after discussing the need for your peer’s financial commitment to the new system. Drawing comparisons Monitor industry trends and developments. cite the ways in which your idea will help them address these concerns.

Human Resources Designing a series of courses on effective cross-selling Information Technology Building a customer database that distinguishes market Marketing .” Using influence and persuasion can help you gain the most value from your peer network and achieve the best results when collaborating with your colleagues.. If your group is. you need to collaborate with managers of other groups..” Overcoming objections Tool: Practicing Persuasion Identify the principal causes of your peers’ resistance to your ideas.. you’ll ultimately save much more than an hour per week because of new efficiencies you’ll gain once the system is set up and everyone is using it regularly.. Cross-Functional Collaboration with Peers If you’re like most managers. several groups will need to collaborate to carry out a strategic initiative. To carry out your group’s part in helping the company grow its market share.moving to this type of system. I realize you’re concerned that moving to this new system will mean more time you’ll have to spend inputting your group’s data. “Sophie. If we want to stay on the cutting edge—and be seen by our customers as tech-savvy—we need to commit to a group effort to make it happen. Each unit and group in the enterprise has a role in ensuring that this goal is met. your group may need to collaborate with members of other peer groups. you don't work in isolation to accomplish your objectives. For instance. The next foundation explains additional strategies for successful cross-functional collaboration. More important.. Typically. Instead. Sales You might need. and work to defuse them. And sometimes your group will need to give work to other groups so that they can achieve their goals. your group will need to receive work from other groups to reach its objectives. For help in. But I calculate the time required for inputting data at no more than one hour per week.. Consider this example: Your company wants to grow its market share by 30 percent over the next five years. Sometimes. The table shows some examples.

As needed. The challenge of cross-functional collaboration Cross-functional collaboration with peers can be challenging because it hinges on mutual support among people who don’t have formal authority over one another.If your group is.. companies often form cross-functional teams comprising representatives from each participating unit. so you can align all the resources you each need to successfully carry out your plans. • Get clear approval from senior management for any major cross-functional collaboration. apply these practices: Tool: Collaborating with Peers Discuss and negotiate cross-functional collaboration requirements with peer managers early... When cross-functional teams are created. segments Product Development Finance Clarifying new business models When collaboration with peer managers becomes extensive. they typically develop a charter that outlines the roles.. For help in. key milestones. and decision-making processes of the group. To boost the chances of successful collaboration. For example. and Information Technology. deliverables.. You might need. a cross-functional team designed to support the company’s market-share goals might be led by someone from Marketing and include managers from Product Development. Sales. • . the team might pull in members from Finance and Human Resources.. responsibilities.

If you’re approaching a time when a peer manager will owe your group work. remind him or her about the upcoming collaboration. • . • Put reminder mechanisms in place to ensure that you follow through on your obligations to peers. • If a conflict arises once the collaboration begins. Give your peer the courtesy of sufficient notice. document all peer-collaboration needs. and obligations—as well as any changes in the agreements you’ve made. • • If many different group managers must collaborate on an initiative. consider suggesting formation of a cross-functional team dedicated to carrying out the initiative. acknowledge and resolve it immediately.To ensure accountability. so the effort can continue moving forward as planned. expectations.

analyze the results of your actions. Taking stock Self-reflection will help you assess your managerial abilities and interests. you also need objective. You're also likely to find that you lack some important skills. what you hope to achieve through your work. you're likely to discover new strengths and talents. EVOLVING AS A MANAGER Who Are You Becoming? The transformation from individual contributor to manager can initially seem overwhelming. To identify your strengths. and what type of management career you will want to pursue. and in that case you'll need to figure out how to enhance those abilities or adopt compensating strategies. you'll want to look for opportunities to leverage these strengths. Management expert Peter Drucker asserts that all positive performance comes from strengths. Consider the type of work you most enjoy and past experiences in which you held a leadership role. have others turned to me as a leader? What was the result? What does leadership mean to me? Do I have a genuine interest in the success and well-being of those around me? Am I as happy when others succeed as when I succeed? Thinking about such questions will help you better understand what motivates you. such as: • • • • • • Do I like collaborative work? Have I learned to work through others? Do I enjoy working on difficult problems? How do I cope with stress? In informal groups. external feedback to fully develop as a manager. For example: For each key decision you make. what types of challenges you might tend to avoid. As you develop in your management career.8. Ask yourself questions. but with experience. note needed actions and expected outcomes • . Identifying strengths and weaknesses Along with introspection.

but you have learned to manage how others perceive it. Learning from criticism The most successful managers are ones who develop an appetite for feedback and constructive criticism. Consider this example: You are disturbed to find that others see you as too aggressive. "What behaviors do I exhibit that make me appear indecisive?" You learn that you often say "I'm not comfortable answering that right now" when someone is pressing you for a decision and you want to take some time to think about it. you decide to adopt a different response. such as. you decide to ask a mentor or a trusted member of your peer network. You inquire further and are told that you often disengage from a conversation or appear . Rather than abandon your approach to decision making.• • Record the actual results Compare the actual results with your expectations Tool: Identifying Strengths & Weaknesses Look for patterns in the relationship between actual outcomes and your expected outcomes. Or you find that you frequently underestimate others’ capabilities. Try not to judge such feedback as positive or negative. demanding. Given this insight. you will want to rethink your intentions." Your decision-making strategy hasn't changed. focus on uncovering what you need to do differently to be perceived in the way that you intend. you see yourself as thoughtful. Perhaps you are good at anticipating your opponent’s moves in negotiations. In other cases. Instead. "I'll make a decision about that this afternoon. and self-interested. Strengths are areas where you demonstrate a history of outcomes consistent with expectations. Your weaknesses may lie in areas where there is rarely a match. It is sometimes disheartening to discover that colleagues and direct reports perceive you quite differently from the way you see yourself. Use the “Identifying Strengths & Weaknesses” tool to record your observations. For example. and are surprised to learn that to others you appear indecisive.

disinterested when others want to talk about problems they are having. You consider this information and realize that this is in fact a fairly accurate interpretation of your intention—when someone starts relating a problem they are having, you begin feeling stressed and overburdened, and you disengage to alleviate those feelings. What needs to change? In this case, you'd want to learn how not to take ownership of others' problems and instead act as an advisor or coach.

Preparing for the future
Throughout your career you will have many opportunities to shape what and how you develop your management abilities. This, in turn, will affect the types of positions that you will eventually be qualified to assume. The next foundation examines the unique skills required to build your capabilities as a leader.

Developing Leadership Skills
As you develop managerial skills, you will also hone leadership skills. What’s the difference? The process of managing focuses on creating order and controlling situations to achieve desired results. In contrast, the practice of leadership involves identifying what those desired results are, making sure that they are consistent with corporate values, and attracting others to collectively pursue them. By definition, leaders inspire followers. While good management capitalizes on differences in individual abilities and personal ambitions, good leadership taps into the commonality of interests across individuals. Managers… Ask: “Are we doing things the right way?” And focus on:
• • •

Leaders… Ask: “Are we doing the right thing?” And focus on:
• • •

Planning Organizing Problem solving

Setting direction Aligning people Motivating employees

Essential leadership skills can be strengthened
While there may be “born leaders” with innate talents, many leadership qualities can be cultivated. These qualities include the ability to:

Perceive patterns and relationships. Leadership involves seeing situations from a broader perspective in order to identify needed changes in the organization and set direction. By taking a step back from the current environment and context, one can more easily perceive patterns and detect relationships between disparate elements. Take time to periodically reflect on your environment from a broader perspective and discuss your observations with a mentor.

Tolerate ambiguity. Leaders often must establish direction based on incomplete or ambiguous information. To become more comfortable with uncertainty, look for situations where others have navigated successfully in ambiguous circumstances, and analyze their strategies. Choose tasks or projects that will enable you to practice in a low-risk environment.

Embrace change. The comfortable and familiar can easily turn into stagnation, while too much change can lead to chaos. Observe how you and those around you react to proposed change—for example, do you feel threatened or restless? Effective leaders learn to gauge an appropriate pace for introducing change.

Discover what you value. A leader’s value judgments are essential to establishing clear direction. For example, one company invests in developing successive generations of an artificial heart valve, in which each generation is slightly better than the preceding one. The company’s philosophy is that the most valuable contribution it can make is to continue to improve this life-saving device. Another company, adopting a different philosophy, invests in the search for an elusive breakthrough technology that will enable doctors to permanently correct some valve abnormalities. Neither of these two philosophies is necessarily right or wrong, but they represent different values. Develop awareness of your values by observing your choices and preferences over time. Understanding your values will help you to:

Choose opportunities that will increase your sense of fulfillment because they are consistent with your values.
o o

Reject opportunities that will lead to frustration because they don’t match your values. Tool: Leadership Qualities Self-Assessment Use the “Leadership Qualities Self-Assessment” tool to identify leadership qualities that you may want to strengthen.

Gathering feedback on your leadership skills
Feedback is essential to developing leadership skills. Ask mentors, trusted peers, and subordinates for insight into how others experience being led by you. Some questions to ask for feedback about are:
• • • •

How do others feel about working with me? How do others feel about themselves when they are working with me? Does working with me leave people feeling energized? What aspects of my behavior are not effective?

The next foundation explains the application of emotional intelligence in leadership and management roles and how you can improve your emotional intelligence.

Leading with Emotional Intelligence
A manager’s emotional intelligence skills affect how he or she approaches different management and leadership tasks, such as setting direction, managing employee performance, and motivating others. What is emotional intelligence, or EI? Management consultants Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee define EI as a set of competencies governed by the emotional centers of the brain rather than the thinking brain. The four components of EI are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

Why emotional intelligence is important
The table below describes the four components of EI and characteristic ways they surface in management activities. Weakness in one or more EI components can limit an individual’s ability to:
• •

Respond appropriately to challenging situations Make good decisions

Inspiration. The ability to challenge the status quo and champion the new order. The propensity to bolster the abilities of others through feedback and guidance. • • Social Awareness • Empathy. Catalyst for change. Self-confidence. and navigate politics. Relationship Management • • • • • Influence. • • • .• Establish strong relationships with others For example. The ability to keep a realistically positive sense of self-worth. Organizational awareness. or may make decisions that violate their core values because they fail to recognize what those core values are. The ability to read the currents of organizational life. The ability to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control. Skill at adjusting to changing situations and overcoming obstacles. The ability to have a sense of efficacy and seize opportunities as they arise. The ability to read and understand your emotions as well as to recognize their impact on job performance and relationships. and have integrity. listed below. convincing. Most people aren’t strong in all four components of emotional intelligence. The ability to recognize and meet customers’ needs. Conflict management. individuals may take on impossible assignments because they don’t realize that they lack requisite skills. Development of others. authentic. Skill at sensing a wide range of emotional signals. The ability to view setbacks as opportunities instead of threats. and taking an active interest in their concerns. The ability to inspire and move people with a compelling vision. The ability to be honest. Service. Teamwork. Initiative. and well-tuned messages. Achievement. Skill at sending clear. Skill at building teams and fostering collaboration. build social networks. Transparency. The Components of Emotional Intelligence Self-Awareness • Emotional self-awareness. Optimism. But the most effective and successful managers have strengths across all the EI quadrants. Accurate self-assessment. Self-Management • • • • • • Self-control. understanding others’ perspectives. Skill at setting realistic goals and seeking performance improvements. Adaptability. The ability to defuse disagreements and orchestrate resolutions. The ability to realistically evaluate your strengths and limitations.

For example. there appears to be a genetic component to emotional intelligence. much as one would break a bad habit by replacing it with a new. research shows that EI is also learned. emotional centers of the brain must be retrained to adopt new behaviors. if you are seeking to become more open to others’ ideas. positive behavior. • • Examine your behavior to understand exactly what you need to change— for example. • .Strengthening your emotional intelligence As with cognitive intelligence. To strengthen EI. To develop your EI capabilities: • • Make a personal commitment to developing your EI. and that it generally increases with age as individuals gain experience.” Who do you want to become? What kind of manager do you want to become? How do you want to be remembered as a manager? Gather feedback from colleagues to shed light on which of your EI skills most need improvement.” Identify how you will behave differently. For example. “In stressful situations I fail to listen to others’ suggestions and ideas. However.” • Enlist the support of others to help you monitor your progress. “In stressful situations I will specifically ask others for their ideas and will concentrate on listening to their suggestions. Create a personal vision of your “ideal self. you might ask a trusted colleague to observe your behavior in meetings where new ideas are discussed.

As your responsibilities change you will likely need to acquire new functional skills and knowledge. is acquired through on-the-job experience. an understanding of accounting principles. "How can I best develop my skills?" ask. however. it's natural to be dazzled by the opportunity to exercise authority or by the potential financial rewards that come with a management role. If you are serious about developing as a manager. Instead of asking. you will need to shift your focus to the concerns of your group and others. Emotional intelligence plays an important role in your successful transition from individual contributor to manager. Specific skills in these areas can be acquired through seminars. Embrace the greater good At the beginning of a management career. admit imperfections. college courses. It also entails developing a mature perspective on your role within the organization. The next foundation discusses how to apply EI components such as self-awareness and self-management as you chart the next steps in your career. for example. Taking Charge of Your Career Managing your career includes acquiring the skills that you need—both technical skills and people-management skills—to meet increasing levels of management responsibility. Rather than acting primarily for personal gain.Tools: Assessing Your Emotional Intelligence and Strengthening Your Emotional Intelligence The "Assessing Your Emotional Intelligence" and “Strengthening Your Emotional Intelligence” tools will help you better understand and strengthen your emotional intelligence. or the fundamentals of organizational development. or self-study programs. knowledge of basic business law. To truly harvest the potential of mentoring relationships. one of your top priorities should be to develop a network of mentors and sponsors whose feedback will help you better learn from your experiences. But to grow as a manager. "What skills do I need to develop to best serve the company's current and future needs?" . You could need. Much of what you learn about management. you must also accept the responsibility of being a protégé willing to divulge shortcomings. and perhaps even more so as you develop your leadership role. decide to focus on the welfare of your team and your company. and adopting a strategic approach to building your network and pursuing career opportunities. and consciously seek constructive criticism. Make a commitment to learning Pursuing a career in management requires a commitment to lifelong learning.

According to Linda Hill. may be a valuable asset early in your management career. But too great a reliance on this strength may prevent you from developing broader management abilities that could prove essential later on.The answers will help you chart your learning and development agenda and provide insight into which types of assignments and positions are appropriate at each stage of your development. and the position to which you aspire. As a general rule. goals. Think strategically about your career A strategic approach to career management means ensuring that you and your skills are always essential to your organization’s success. Therefore. making changes as organizational needs change . Strong technical expertise. for example. While it's true that you should leverage your strengths. it should take you less than six months in a new position to begin making a meaningful contribution. stretch assignments increase the risk that you will make mistakes or not substantially contribute to the organization’s goals. there should be a good fit between your abilities. it's important to choose situations where the risks are manageable. some initial strengths can later become fatal flaws if you do not learn to adapt to new demands. Being strategic requires that you: • • • • Look outward in your organization to identify emerging needs Set goals important to your organization as well as your own interests Position yourself to acquire skills and gain relevant experiences through stretch assignments or lateral moves within your organization Periodically reevaluate goals. and need for learning opportunities. It's also a good idea to look for diverse experiences to help you develop skills in different functional areas. so choose assignments only if you believe you can reach that target. They play a vital part in helping you develop new knowledge and skills. As valuable as they are. Evaluate stretch assignments Stretch assignments are those that require you to grow in order to make the required contribution.

Positional power grows in a self-reinforcing cycle. . a strong network. New successes and new assignments further strengthen your visibility—and further increasing your ability to use that power to make a positive contribution to your organization. Use the “Career Development Checklist” tool to periodically assess your career development goals activities. Positional power grows out of a good performance record. and a “fast track” position. It also means that you actively develop new relationships based on your changing needs rather than relying on existing relationships simply because they are comfortable. Over time you’ll reap the reward for effectively managing your career—the achievement of positional power: a combination of visibility.Tool: Career Development Checklist Thinking strategically about your developmental network means that you look for a cross-section of relationships rather than focusing on just one mentor. and the ability to attract stretch assignments. autonomy.