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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2009 - issue > People Manager

On Being Balanced

C Mahalingam (Mali)
Friday, May 8, 2009
C Mahalingam (Mali)
Peter Drucker, the Management Guru, has often questioned the notion of ‘well rounded people’. He sums up his strong views saying, ’Where there are peaks, there are valleys’. This has to be understood in the right context. When we deal with people, some of us expect perfection, and anything less is regarded as negative. But this is only one side of the story. The irony here is that perfection is defined as self. When people deviate from our own perception of perfection which is what we believe strongly as we are, we are in for even more trouble in managing them. Likewise, where people do not behave or deliver as expected and agreed to, there is a responsibility on the people managers to call out and fix this behavior. When some of us turn a blind eye towards the issues as though they were someone else’s, the imbalance shows. All said and done, let us recognize that the success in the role of a people manager depends on being balanced despite being human.

Behaviors are Beliefs Turned into Action

While as people managers we are also human and therefore we have our own share of peaks and valleys and strengths and weaknesses, it is no reason to avoid doing certain things that help us be balanced. Inasmuch as our pluses and minuses impact our teams negatively, there is every reason to stand before the mirror and ask ourselves…. “Am I imbalanced so much that I am being perceived and experienced as not being effective?” If this mirror test is not helpful enough, it is good idea to check with our trusted friends and colleagues or our HR partners to help analyze our styles and behaviors and agree on an action plan to become more balanced. Make no mistakes. Behavior changes are the most difficult to make and they take a long time to realize. Behaviors are rooted in beliefs. Behaviors are beliefs turned into action. Hence the challenge is tall. However, it is possible to work on our beliefs as people managers and shape our behavior to be more balanced. There lies our success in managing people.

Dysfunctional Behavior

Let me describe some common dysfunctional people manager behaviors that hurt organizations. Eventually it hurts the manager himself as he finds his own career starting to derail even faster than he built it up step by step.


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