We should always be open to feedback. However, there is great wisdom in deciding what sort of feedback to take, and what sort to ignore.
I’ve just arrived home after an exhausting day. I had one meeting after the other. And they were all important.
One such meeting was with one of my departmental heads and our human resources adviser. The discussion point was whether to renew the contract of an employee who was reported to have been underperforming. [Read more…]
Recently I had a conversation with a middle manager in a high-pressure job. She shared with me the problems she was facing in getting all her work done. It became clear to me that she was not delegating enough. I asked her why.
There can be fewer things more troublesome to the workplace than the introduction of a new IT system. Quite apart from the expense, a new IT system could have a significant impact on the culture of the organisation – it could dramatically change the way that people do things. People tend to be resistant to change, even change for the better. Thus it is important to secure buy-in. But how to do that?
Everyone has an optimum time of day – a time when they have supreme clarity of mind, and during which they can therefore do their best work. It is important for us to know which time of day works best for us. [Read more…]
Build your network. I cannot emphasize this enough. As a leader, it is important that you have an ‘outward’ focus, that is, that you set your sights outside your organization. Begin to build a network of fellow leaders in your industry, and also in fields that are linked to yours.
I had a very stressful day today. However I realized very quickly what had triggered it. In this case, it was because I was working all day at home, and feeling somewhat disconnected from the office. There were several things requiring my attention, and, being away from the office, I felt a little out of touch.
I am approached fairly regularly to give employment references for people who have worked for me. This is something I am generally happy to do, provided it concerns an ex-employee whose work warrants a favourable reference. However, there can be awkward situations where the ex-employee’s work did not meet expectations. Such situations call for good judgement and a fair amount of sensitivity.
In my early days as a manager, I made a gigantic rod for my own back with a wide-ranging open-door policy. I was very keen to be accessible to all my staff, and it left me exhausted, under-productive, and unable to switch off. I knew then that I had to make drastic changes.
In a word, no. Every person is different. Every situation is different. Some people will come by themselves to the realization that the role in question is not for them. Others will never realise that without your help. A manager must assess the best way to proceed in every case, taking into account the particular situation, the personality of the employee, and, just as important, the likely consequences of taking no action.