Torbjorn Zetterlund

Tue 08 2011

Can everyone become a great manager?

by bernt & torsten

Your career has gone straight up and you have all the time heard how good you are. One day you get your first management position, a goal that you been dreaming about for a long time.

Being a manager did not go the way you planned, you stop hearing how good you are and no-one is given you advice on how to act. You have achieved a milestone in your career, and all you feel is that you have crash-landed.

You need to remember that because you were good at what you were doing before, you would not necessarily be good at being a manager from day one. Very few people are, being a manager is a profession by itself, and you need to learn how to do it before you can do it.

The super ambitious, driven and very good at the area they are specialized in, they do often get rewarded with a manager position. And often, it does not work out, some people do become good managers if they are given the right opportunity if they don’t get the right support it becomes a struggle for them.

Before you decide on a manager position, ask yourself why you are taking the job? Are you taking it because no-one rejects an offer for a higher salary and more responsibility or are you honestly interested in a leadership role?

As a manager, you should like to have difficult discussions and learn that no-one will acknowledge you as often as previously in your career. You should like the people you lead, even if they do not act as you do.

As a manager you need to consider that people do not do things the way you would do it, they may be slow, not organized or a perfectionist, you have to like to work with all kind of people on your team even if they are smarter than you and have a personal need to be best in what they do. You can not be afraid of the people that you are working with.

Can everyone become a great manager?

There are people that do not want to lead other people, they should not become managers. You have to be interested in people to become a  manager and a good manager. You need to be available to your team, communicate clearly specifically on the issue you take for granted, be a good listener and have an interest in developing your team.

A Manager’s worst mistakes.

There are a number of mistakes that you can do as a manager to build a bad atmosphere with your team, here are some of the biggest mistakes

  • Mix tasks and work and people and criticize a person rather than the action.
  • Say things like “many agree with me” even when no-one else has been asked.
  • Put the blame on others to achieve what you want.
  • Ignoring people on your team, by not greeting them or not inviting them to a meeting they should be at.
  • Withhold information.
  • Double negative blame by telling a person that they are doing wrong if they act and wrong if they do not act.
  • Criticize a team member in front of others with the purpose of making them feel bad.
  • Use industry terms and words and sentences that could exclude some team members, with the purpose of making them as insecure as possible.
  • Have rules that you break when it suits you.
  • Present other people’s ideas as it would be yours.
  • Use of a negative body language to show what you think without saying anything. You can use your eyes to show what you think about someone or what has been said.
  • Downgrade a person on your team by saying, “Little you, I do not think you know what you are talking about”.
  • Joke and use irony on other people’s account.
  • Use silence as a weapon – sometimes you can make people around you hurt by not saying anything.