Everybody always try to tell us what needs to be done, what we should do, what are standard/best practices, what are the expectations, etc. But nobody usually tells us what we should not do. It might be because it’s always difficult to accept the reality and share the truth.
In this article we will be discussing about those who manage or administer group of people. As this article is not exactly about the people who are entitled as project manager, product manager, stock manager, etc. But, we will be focusing mainly on those who manage people irrespective of their role or entitled designation within an organization or in real life.
So here are some thoughts about what we should not do if we manage people.
Avoid being Judgmental
As a manager or administrator, you will have to coordinate and work with different kind of people working as one team. Every member of team has different personality. This will increase conflicts and differences among them sooner or later. And you will have to resolve and tackle those conflicts and tricky situations. But, you should avoid being judgmental and making decisions by looking at only one side of picture. You should listen to both sides before making decision or assumptions about something or someone. You should also try to resolve the conflict by talking or discussing it with them instead of just arranging a meeting and let them discuss in front of you.
As a human being each one of us has tendency to politicize everything. And when we are in control of something we start doing this sometime intentionally and sometime unintentionally. It happens in almost all the organizations whether they are small like startups or big enterprises. Those who are in power or control usually don’t want to let it go easily and when in a situation they try to politicize that situation to save themselves. So you should avoid to politicize situations and matters as much as possible.
You should avoid manipulating information and situations as well. As every manager shares/reports information to senior higher management in most of the organizations. But, if you are not sharing complete information or twisting/manipulating it for whatever reason, it will affect everyone related to this information. Unlike politicization, this is usually done intentionally and for purpose. Managers who feel insecure about their position mostly do this as an act to cover their insecurities and to safe their job. You should avoid this act and try to be as transparent as possible for everything.
Also this work in both ways for organizational hierarchy. You shouldn’t hide or manipulate information from your team as well. Be transparent and straight with your sub-ordinates and be honest when sharing or giving feedback about someone.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to avoid sarcasm with the people working under you. You should treat them with respect and avoid any kind of sarcasm. Because, everyone has their own positives and negatives. And as a team we should embrace those. If you do or promote sarcasm it will create difficulties for your team members and might result in conflicts of team members with you and among themselves.
Avoid not trusting your team
Not trusting your team members is another action that we should avoid as a Manager. Because, lack of trust usually result in low moral for whole team or respective member. Some people has this as a personally trait that they are not able to build trust on others. But, we shouldn’t let our personality issue influence and create discomfort for whole team. This is again a two-way act. you should trust your team if you are expecting them to trust you.
Avoid not protecting and supporting your team
Some people are hesitant to take stand for themselves and their team. Although, this is because of their own weakness. But, it shouldn’t the affect whole team. They should start taking stand for team at least. As if they don’t protect and support their team in difficult situations and in front of management, it will result in lowering down moral and poor team coordination. And team will start looking towards someone else for support and might also stop working with you as a manager.
Everyone has their own privacy and personal space. You should respect that. You should avoid interrogating and interfering in their personal matters. But, if they want to share something with you then listen and help in whatever way you can. Similarly, you should respect the privacy and personal space of a person working with you. It’s their responsibility to give their 100% while working. If they are not doing so there are many other ways to track and handle it. But, you should avoid taking sneak peek on their computer and mobile screens. If you have any issue with using phones or any IM applications in office space and time, just create some policy and implement it in proper way.
Avoid promoting “Yes, Boss” culture
It’s good to have strong bonding with team and have such people on board (or in your team) that trust you and each other. And it’s good to have some people in your team that are always ready to put in extra hours for last minute requests, changes and projects. But, you should avoid making it a norm or inject it in your company’s culture. Because, people like those who says “Yes, Man” or “Yes, Boss” every time are not good for your team and the company most of the times.
Let’s assume you have a team of five people working with you. One or two of those are brilliant and geniuses, but they are a little bit picky or choosy for type of tasks and don’t want to share their family and personal time with the company by working extended or extra hours. On other hand, you have one or two people in your team that are intelligent but not genius like others, but they are “Yes, Man” type.
Now let’s imagine, you received a last minute request from a client, you discussed it with the geniuses in your team and they explained to you that they would work on that on the following and it would take that much time because it was a difficult or tricky task. Now, as you can see that you have the opportunity (to show your willingness to work, dedication for your job and going extra mile in doing your job) to the higher management of company. You will turn out to those “Yes, Man” type team members and ask them to do the job. They will agree to coordinate with you and work on this. You will happily convey the message to management and client that we will be working on this and blah blah blah. But, in the end you failed to deliver on time with the expected quality. As those “Yes-Man” members were not able to handle it. They will simply say that you asked them to do the work and they gave their 100%. And you can’t do anything about it. So think about it and avoid promoting “Yes-Man” or “Yes-Boss” culture.
Avoid taking credit of someone else’s work and leg pulling
Now as a manager it’s your job to manage and administer your team and help them work their job. But, you should avoid claiming that all the success and good work is because of you. Because, you were just managing those people and facilitating them by providing time and resources they need to the job. In the end, it was they who finished the job or completed the work. And all the credit should be given to them. So, you should give credit to the team even if you have also worked (in the back stage or behind the scene) with them. As success of your team will benefit whole team and ultimately you as well. But, if you try to take the credit, it will not send the positive message to team and they might not give 100% for their future jobs.
So these are some of my thoughts about what should we avoid doing when working as a team. Please do share your feedback and thoughts in comments.