Help for the Struggling Manager

Written by Isabelle Larche

Managing Director, Recruitment & Executive Search at Timeo-Performance

We often set our businesses up for failure by promoting top performers to management. Most will end up struggling with the additional demands in their new role if they do not have the skills required for management.

WHY DO THEY STRUGGLE?

We overlook the fact that technical expertise in a job function does not necessarily translate into management expertise. Your boss might be great at clinching deals, coding complicated software or crunching numbers, but may not be the best at guiding you or leading your team to success. And it really may not be his/her fault. The tendency to reward high performance with promotions and a lack of training for managerial responsibilities often causes the Peter principle to come into play.

CAN WE REVERSE IT?

How do we avoid becoming the incompetent manager that Dr. Laurence J. Peter mocks in his book? We can train our managers in communication, leadership, feedback and various other soft skills if they want to succeed in their new role.

There is an overwhelming choice of courses and trainings that you can take as a young (or upcoming) manager to improve those skills. But is this enough? Can a one-day training change your habits, behaviour and mindset? We at Timeo-Performance tailor our Leadership and Management learning journeys based on a thorough pre-assessment and integrate a follow-up to maximise results. If you want to develop strong managers and leaders who inspire teams to excel, feel free to contact us. Our consultants would love to assist your HR needs.

For this Top Reads of the Week, I have compiled 4 articles with insights on managing your learning, your time and your employees. I also included a bonus video on managing our personality. Do you know what are the 11 personality traits that are threatening to derail your career? This is so that we can all seek not to be an incompetent manager like Peter described in his book.

Although the job of leading people and institutions cannot be broken down simply into steps and formulas, reading up and putting what you learnt into practice is a first step to navigating this management maze.

And of course, before we learn to manage others, we need to learn to manage ourselves. To start off, here is an article by HBR on becoming a more productive learner:

MANAGING YOUR LEARNING

  1. Become a More Productive Learner

174 newspapers…a day. Yup, that is the amount of information we consume every day in this age of information (overload). This did not necessarily translate to increased knowledge though: Scores from testing general civic knowledge has remained almost constant for the last 80 years. We seem to be consuming more information, but are not digesting all of it.

How can we reverse this trend towards unproductive learning? Matt Plumer and Jo Wilson share 4 ways to become a more productive learner.

MANAGING YOUR TIME

2. 5 Common Complaints About Meetings and What to Do About Them

We all complain about meetings. We have too many. They’re a waste of time. Nothing gets done. Such complaints are often valid, but they are not impossible to tackle. A positive meeting culture is possible, if everyone feels responsible to make it positive. Paul Axtell lists specific ways to manage the different complaints lodged against meetings.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE…

As a manager, you will need to account for your team’s performance. How can you improve performance using better feedback, or by minimising employee disengagement? Read on to find out.

USING FEEDBACK

3. 10 Real-Life Examples of Giving Effective Employee Feedback

Giving feedback is an integral part of influencing work performance and behaviour. To learn to manage people, we need to learn how to give feedback effectively. This article from Officevibe will tell you the 3 key components of effective feedback, 10 real-life examples of feedback given correctly and 5 tips for giving more effective feedback.

BY MINIMISING DISENGAGEMENT

4. How to Address Early Signs of Employee Disengagement

Detecting early signs of employee disengagement requires keen observation and strong empathy. But as managers, spotting disengagement is crucial for correction before damage on motivation and productivity result. Starting to discover symptoms of disengagement? How do you address it? Engagement clinics (remedies, fixes) from this article by [engage] will tell you what to do.

BONUS: MANAGING YOUR PERSONALITY

5. 11 Personality Traits That Can Limit Your Career

Could your personality derail your career? In this video, psychologists Robert and Joyce Hogan identified 11 personality traits that come with dark sides. Left unchecked, dark side traits can cause chaos in the workplace. Learn to identify these seemingly common traits and manage them before your career takes a hit.

Isabelle Larche
Isabelle is a Human Performance expert, with over 10 years of professional recruitment experience, and 15 years of Business Management Consulting experience. Isabelle is the Vice President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Trade Counsellor (Singapore Chapter) to the French Embassy.

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