I'm a manager. I manage my time, my finances, and my work and play. I manage to screw things up, and I manage to get things done. I'm a husband and a father, so I manage my family. I'm a boss, so I manage my employees. One thing I've learned, managing other people is difficult.
Don't avoid the difficult task of informing people when their work isn't good enough.
In Luke 6:31, it says to do to others as you would have them do to you. As a boss who tries to create a positive, enjoyable work environment where people enjoy their work and one another, this is a handy spiritual truth to remember.
One key to managing successfully that I've learned is to not sidestep the difficult task of informing people when their work is not good enough. This will unlock the door to successful management. You don't want to hurt people's feeling, but you owe it to them to tell them what is actually going on. Just as a manager relies on indicators of success, those who work for you also deserve honest feedback on their work.
If you care about the people that you manage, you tell them. Tell them what's up, how things are going (personally and work-related), and what can be done better to get things right. Praise when it's due. Provide honest discussion when their work is not providing what is needed. A lack of praise and criticism can be disastrous. As a manager, you need to be a guide. And guides communicate.
White Water Rafting Guide
I took a white-water rafting trip with my daughters 7th grade class. The guide in our raft was providing very clear and direct communication, signaling us to paddle in certain directions and with particular effort or speed. "Paddle." "Left turn." "Right turn." "Hold." "Paddle strong." Without communication from our guide, our time on the water would have been haphazard, frustrating and unenjoyable. Guides provide direct communication and feedback.
It's impossible to guide and manage others well without communicating. Managers communicate. They provide very direct, productive feedback. The encourage open and honest discussion. They help create an enjoyable work environment. And they also listen. I enjoy achieving results by listening and seeking to understand rather than telling people what do to.
Communicating involves listening to others. Feedback. Conversation rather than dictating. Debating before directing. Encouraging people to make decisions rather than deciding everything for them. Advising people instead of order them what to do. Managers are into learning as much as they're into knowing. There's a proverb (Proverb 18:15) that says an intelligent heart (your mind) is always acquiring knowledge, and the ear of the wise always seeks it out. You should listen with as much effort as put into learning.
In conclusion, enjoy managing. Manage yourself well. If you're a boss, treat others well by communicating with them. Managing others can be difficult, but not impossible. Be a guide. Be sure to listen as you learn. Others deserve to know how they're doing by you providing them with direct, productive discussion.
If you enjoyed reading that article, you may be interested in how communication relates to "Consciousness."
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