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?


No Pain No Gain !

Received via email.You need to earn the rewards not demand them !

There are lot of employees who don’t want to put in efforts and still want to borne the fruits of success.It specially happens in a team as the evaluation is done on the team’s achievement.This is where the concept of individual performance evaluation plays an important role.

There is more coming on Team Building and performance evaluation in the next post ! This was a warm up exercise for the brain to prepare for further read.Isn’t it important for the brain to be prepared for what is going to be it’s next muncher ? Yes ! So here’s yours ! 🙂

Circles & Patches

Go wherever, you have to come back to the point zero to complete one full circle. Life is all about circles. I have just realized. And we must complete one in order to start the next. What we get out of each circle is totally dependent on us. We are our own guides,our own leaders. There is no one but we ourselves to appraise our performance in each circle.

So when it’s all about me,then I need to set my target and bench mark myself. And if this is the case then there is nothing I should be fearful about. Nothing I should be worried about.It’s my world,my performance and my circles. Typically this is what anyone would think right ?

This is where we tend to forget that life is full of circles but what is the nature of these circles ? If we really have to plot them on a paper they would appear something like this:
seven equal circles

These are called Apollonian Circles. [remember there is a stencil available to create these circles just by fixing the tip of the pen / pencil in the stencil and moving it on a paper to create these circles as well as other designs ?]

So why this ‘circles and patches’ post here at HR blog,right ? Why not ? We are talking about relationships and they exist in bulk at work place.

So if we are to work in a team we have to understand our team members thoroughly to the extent that we are in sync with them while at work. The moods may go up and down-which is normal about any human being. But if we are clear about the person at the basics then it’s not difficult to work together keeping our ego aside.

While forming a new team,where people are meeting for the first time,there is a process time that has to be allowed for the employees to know each other well. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable words “forming, storming, norming and performing” back in 1965. This theory has been included in various HR subjects,applied into corporate HR and also related to other theories.

Tuckman Model

I want to add a little bit to this theory. If at all at this ‘circles & patches’ theory is added as an extension at the stage of ‘Storming’-that is after shifting from box 1 and before entering box 2– there are chances of less friction and more understanding developing amongst the team members.

What do you think ? Will it make sense in any way ?

Friendships in corporate world-A yes or A no ?

Friendships are bound to happen in any organizational set-up. No matter how much you tell yourself right from the start that ‘this is the professional set-up and no getting emotionally entangled here’ you are bound to make friends and not only that but get emotionally involved too. I won’t blame anyone here. Since this is a tendency of human nature. We human beings are bound to get into relationships at every corner or our life journey. Where we fail is to draw the line and keep things separate. If one is able to do that perfectly than nothing like it.
Point in case here is: Two college best buddies land up in the same organization and one is into HR and other is into specialized domain of the company from ‘finance’ as PG specialization. Both the friends are talented and equally good in their respective fields.
Over a period of time they both make a mistake. They fail to draw that ‘thin’ line between personal and professional and that’s where the process of drifting away started.
If you haven’t guessed it already let me tell you. It all goes around the promotions which take place in the organization one ‘appraisal cycle’. The HR friend obviously gets involved into the matter with a personal touch and the other friend doesn’t trust the HR friend totally! The case is spoiled. The results are clear. The other friend has to leave the company and go. Though the HR friend survives in the company due to the sincerity and the hard work but had put the reputation on stake for getting the ‘finance’ friend a promotion!
Two things that I think went wrong in this case:
One- HR friend should have not crossed the professional line to reach to the personal side and put her image at stake (which fortunately was saved due to the goodwill she had earned)
Two-Finance friend should have trusted her HR friend and should have taken the process as guided by the HR friend-After all if HR is involved-it knows the process best!
There is one more angle to this case which I don’t put as a reason why this chaos happened but could be the reason of all this rut starting actually. Both friends were girls! I hope I don’t have to explain further what I want to say here.
Since we are on friendships within the organization I would want to quote one more case and a discussion point here.
It’s about two colleagues-working in the same team- who turn out to be best friends over a period of time working together. Let’s call them N and S. They have the finest co-ordination and can work together for hours and efficiently. Also these friends are the best performers of the team. Both of them kept together are equal to 4 people in a team. So this is the chemistry they share work wise and personally too.
N leaves the organization for good and without disputes. Of course there is this insecure feeling for S in the organization and also the desire to excel and work like earlier times is slowly fading. Also both of them being together were much stronger a team than singlet. So one fine day, soon after N’s departure, S decides that she too wants to quit get into a new work place and environment. Not only because N is no more in the team but due to some team problems also creeping in slowly. May be these problems were always there but S never noticed them or may be never had time to pay a heed to them!
Okay so S decides to leave and wants her resume to be revamped. She approaches N for the same-they being buddies it was obvious!  They both work together on S’s resume.
Now the points to ponder and question are:
One-Do you think one should totally ignore the other team members and stick to only one of the friends always?
Two-Is right to make a resume of another person? (I mean not saying guiding in making the resume but actually making the resume) Shouldn’t it be the persons’ task, to make the resume, which is going to face the interview?
Three- Is changing job just because your friend is not working anymore with your in the team a right decision? Or leaving the organization because there are some problems creeping in the team?

All the RIGHT things to do

Team. What does that mean ?

Dictionary meaning: a number of persons associated in some joint action.
Acronym: Together We Can Achieve More.

What it takes to make a team?
Practically speaking it takes only few people for hiring manager to recruit and put them under one banner called team. But, is the only task at the manager’s end ? To recruit and forget ?

To make a team work, it needs a lot of time investment,how ?
Well, once a team is created. It needs to be nurtured properly and the at the right times. As is it mentioned in OB that there is process through which a group of people go through and finally form a team. The entire process requires an anchor to manage the ups and downs of the process. So, for managing the team the manager needs to be a perfect balanced person who can manage himself / herself.

Team Building: We keep hearing this often in the corporate world. Team Building exercise,activities and workshops. What are these for ? Why give so much importance to building a team ? Well, i say why not give importance to that ?

As far as my experience is goes,a team is like an engine. If it is oiled properly it will function smoothly or else it will keep giving you problems time and again. So, what is this OIL in the people’s team ? This oil is nothing but the blend of right candidates with right domain knowledge and right attitude, right manager and the right atmosphere to work in.

Now its like asking for too many RIGHT things, isn’t it ? Well, actually no. People are the basic requirement for any team or organisation for sure. So even if you have only right people the atmosphere will turn out to be right because of them.

Right People: Who are they ? Which breed ? Where are they found ?
Now that’s the right question. Right people are not found in any particular market but are to be searched for. And that why we have a process called recruitment. So its really important to have a fine tuned recruitment process in place. If it is there, you are sure to get the right people in your team.

So what am i saying? We need to have right recruitment process to have right people who will make the right team and give you the right results !

Because, to have a successfully functioning team you should have either or both of these:
Strong Leader
Strong Army