“You hear managers say, “I want somebody that can hit the ground running; I just don’t have time to teach them.” This is because they don’t really have the time to dedicate to teaching. But this
is one of the responsibilities of management,” said Nick McCormick, author of “Lead Well and Prosper: 15 Success Strategies for Being a Good Manager” and a recent guest on Expert Access Radio.
Teaching others is not as interesting as crisis management. However, it still falls on the shoulders of management when employees are unable to accomplish a task due to a lack of skills that were not instilled in them from their manager. This lack
of education can hinder the development of individuals within an organization, but also hinder the development of one’s self. When you teach or mentor someone, you learn a great deal about yourself, and you learn more about topics you are teaching too. The process of teaching or mentoring is not only a benefit to others, but to you as well.
Running in the Right Direction
Management is not only responsible for making sure that everyone “hits the ground running,” they also set the direction in which to run. “A manager has to be directing and showing people where they need to go,” said McCormick. “They don’t need to be micro-managing, but they do need to get people moving in the right direction.
“Just because you’re good at a given activity doesn’t mean that you are qualified to lead a group of others doing that same activity,” said McCormick. Unfortunately, it’s often more convenient to set up a team this way. Despite the team structure, it is still the responsibility of the manager to bring people up to speed on how to lead the group. “I think that’s the key to helping that type of person improve and get better as a manager if that’s what the person wants to do.”
Talk It Out
People react differently to criticism, but it is important to have one-on-one conversations within the office about what’s going well and what’s not going well. This gives managers the opportunity to learn from the team and guide them back in the right direction. According to McCormick, “These office conversations are a very good teaching tool. Entering into this dialog will allow you to talk about things you normally wouldn’t talk about, especially if it’s on a tough subject.”
Situational management is knowing when to step in and offer some direction to a project or situation. “This is a part of the learning process of management,” said McCormick. “When you know your people, you know when to touch base with them.” Situational management takes practice and learning because there are some things you don’t want to do. For instance, avoiding high performers because they know what they’re doing. “Sometimes you neglect that and do so at your peril. It is a balancing act; you learn who needs various touch points, but it comes with time.”
The Balancing Act
Management is not easy, it’s a balance. It’s not easy to govern how someone acts or what they know, but as a manager, you can help set an employee in the same direction you are going. As a manager, it is important to set down guidelines and explain to people when they’re straying from those guidelines and when they’re not. The manager is there to guide you in the right direction and keep it all on track when things start to stray off.
Listen to the complete interview with Nick McCormick on Expert Access Radio.
For more information, go to Nick McCormick’s website.