Beating the commitment
Date: Wednesday , August 01, 2007
Managing a team of employees, as in the highly aspiring Indian work environment, is a challenge. Any one wanting to achieve excellence in this requires to focus on these three
1) Setting challenging goals that will shape the team’s progress and success
2) Coaching employees by obtaining and providing relevant feedback
3) Building mutual trust through open and direct communication
Setting challenging goals that will shape the team’s progress and success
Managers that can lead their teams to consistently beat commitments gain a lot of credibility and high degree of success in their career. There are three possible outcomes for each commitment made by the manager and the team – missing, meeting, or beating it. The first outcome is a path to failure, second is a path to coast in one’s career, but the third is a clear path to attract every one’s attention and move significantly forward in one’s career. I always set a goal for myself to beat commitments and expectations consistently, and this has helped me grow well in my career so far. Result orientation being one of most organizations’ values, there is ample opportunity and apposite environment in this regard; this could be an excellent ground for career development.
Coaching employees by obtaining and providing relevant feedback
Managers need to possess the ability to enroll people and carry them along with their decisions. Good managers coach the team to understand the root causes of any problem and ask the right open-ended questions that help the individuals come out with robust solutions. They need to provide boundaries within which people have the flexibility to develop solutions, while not meddling with the identification of solutions. Excellent managers are capable of providing the necessary guidance to enable the team arrive at solutions suitable for the business. Even when time constraints prevent him from providing coaching, he still identifies options, obtains feedback from the team, makes the decision after integrating the feedback with his own ideas, and more importantly, explains the rationale behind his decision. Organizational management techniques need have a structured mechanism that enables regular exchange of feedback between managers and employees. The extent to which this is effectively utilized determines the difference between managers with ‘high’ and ‘average’ levels of performance.
Building mutual trust through open and direct communication
How do you deal with mistrust between the employees and the managers? Open and direct communication is the only key to build trust between the two sides. Managers have to demonstrate their willingness to accept ideas and suggestions from the employees. This makes them feel comfortable. Managers also need to have the confidence and ability to hold candid conversations, discuss their ideas, debate the rationale and above all, have the flexibility to change their own thoughts if and when necessary. The manager has to be creative in finding ways to accept the ideas and feedback. A preset pattern of working should be avoided, especially when it regularly leads to the rejection of a particular employee’s ideas.
Poor managers abound in the industry, good managers are few though, and excellent managers are rare. Focused practice to demonstrate capabilities is essential if one wants to reach the upper echelons of excellence in management and set himself, or herself, apart from the crowd. A positive mindset to aspire for excellence in management is the good starting point.
The author is Director, Digital Enterprise Group, Intel India. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org