Managers and Managees
Throughout my career I’ve been both a manager and a managee; technically “managee” is not a real word, but I use it to make a point. I like to use the terms “manager” and “managee” rather than “manager” and “worker” because in actuality both are workers, each responsible for a different set of duties in the workplace. I use the two terms to show that there is a linked inseparable relationship between the two. You can’t have one without the other and you can’t be successful unless both the manager and the managee work well together. Both are an integral part of a company’s success or failure. In this week’s blog I will start to discuss which areas a manager should focus on in order to improve his or her ability to carry out his or her duties.
At the top of my list of skills needed to be a good manager are:
1. Good communication skills –Be clear and direct when communicating with a managee. Some important points include:
a. Choose your words wisely to concisely convey your message.
i. Use industry specific words as much as possible to define and explain.
ii. Try to use words that have one meaning vs. multiple meanings. Rather than saying “Put
your results in writing.”, say “Please put your results in a one page Word document and
e-mail me a copy when it is finished.”
iii. Use definite timelines rather than vague timelines. Instead of saying “Get this done as
soon as possible.”, say “Please get this done by the end of the day.”
b. Communication also includes the body language and tone that is used. Consistent use of gestures and body language play an important part in how well you communicate with a managee. An interesting article on effective use of voice tone and body language can be found at: Using tone and body language.
c. Always determine if the person has properly received what you have communicated to them. This can be done in a couple of ways:
i. In a friendly manner, ask them to paraphrase it back to you in their own words.
ii. Send a short e-mail or text co message confirmation of what you said in order to
reaffirm what you’ve said.
d. People filter and process information differently. Determine the most direct way a managee wants to receive communications from you. Many younger people want to communicate electronically via text or e-mail. Many older people want to communicate via phone or in person. If possible, communicate with a person in the mode they want to communicate. Choosing the wrong mode to communicate may result in your communication being lost, misinterpreted, or delayed.
e. Good communication skills include good listening skills. Take time to listen to manages during the communication process. Work to understand a managee’s perspective. Understanding a managee’s concern’s and viewpoints can help you to determine how best to communicate with a managee. A good start on understanding active listening can be found at: Active listening.
Developing a positive communication relationship between a manager and managee takes time. Always remember once you have communicated with a managee you can’t take your communication back, so always communicate wisely.
Next up – Managers: Consistency in Handling Situations