Manager: Don’t Mingle, Only Rule?

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?



Ever wondered what does ‘management’ really mean ?  May be some of you will tell me the famous answers stated till date for the M word.Let’s get the basic meaning here.

MANAGEMENT = Manage Men + Tactfully

Sounds right ? I’m sure it’s not taught in any class or is not mentioned in any syllabus book. Where did I get to know the hidden meaning of the word ‘management’? Well, honestly I don’t remember but I had heard it from someone almost 4 years back now…Point is I remember the meaning till date and I’m sure it’s stuck in my mind for ever !

A correction I would want to make here-in understanding the lingo-is that it means that manage men as in people,yes that means women too get counted in this phrase,for sure !

What people do in management meetings is something like this:

Or may be this:

But do you really think what exactly happens in those management meetings ? I have heard my employees saying that the meeting is nothing but a time-off for the senior officials to spend in a closed room where they get to talk about the weather,gossips,chai-biscuits and some news here and there. Of course,the tone is funnily sarcastic while saying this. But If you really think deep you will agree that the employees,specially the dissatisfied ones in the org,will always wonder as to what’s going in the meeting ? Am I being discussed ? Will my hike get affected by this discussion ? etc.

So to that I only want to say that yes,those meetings are really important.Not a time-off for the officials to chit-chat. There are business decisions taken and the future of entire organisation is planned and mapped inside. An employee needs to understand that his / her hike is dependent on the performance and not what the officials are doing inside the meetings rooms !