When it comes to being a Manager, a team leader, there are lot of dos and don’ts one is being told to follow.
A manager is a “person”, let us start from here. A person, who is a given a team to handle and to get the work done. The manager is responsible for enabling conducive environment in the team and maintaining the productive levels of the team members. The manager is a person the team members look up to for learning new things and practicing the existing.
Now in between all these roles, there is one more role a manager has to play and that is of being a mid hanger between the management and the team members as well as employees, yes I’m talking about an HR Manager here!
How does a manager motivate the team members? How does a manager bond well with the team members? Does a manager need to bond well with the team members at all? This could be a very subjective question as well as situation and persona dependent. Because behind every manager there is a personality which is functional. This personality has a great effect on how a manager conducts himself/herself and manages the team.
If one has to ask me, how I handle my team, I would say this:
-I balance: I pamper and I reprimand.
-I believe in giving freedom & space: Lining up the tasks and checking back on the deadline.
-I trust: To certain extent where team members know they cannot lie to me, in fact they need not lie to me!
-I mingle: I become like my team offline, on trips, on small vacations and on eat outs.
All this with a pinch of professionalism and boundaries. There is a very thin boundary line between a mingling manager and a professional strict manager. I do not believe in being only manager to my team. I want to connect at human level, know the person behind the role which helps me in understanding their potential and limitations. For me being a soft manager works well where in I don’t have to reprimand often and the work is done within stipulated deadlines.
There are times when I’ve been pointed out as the one who spoils the team rotten by pampering and being too soft. But as long as my team is working on my words and delivers on deadlines without fail and yet feel light and happy, my job is done! So be it because I’m a soft manager or whatever! The bottom line is met.
That said, there is no fixed formula by which one can manage the team all the time. There is some tweaking needs to be done in the way one handles the team, depending on the team members and the situation.
What is your idea of a good manager? Do you advocate maintaining distance and not mingling with the team offline? How do you get the team to trust you and follow?