Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Learn your Job and Your People

Part two:

Lets assume you were just hired into a company. It's your first day you are not a manager you are just a regular worker. What do you look for? You learn your job, where things are, and you try to gauge the people around you  so you know who to ask for help.

You are looking for leaders. You may not realize it, you are not saying "let me see who is in charge" but you are trying to see who looks approachable and knowledgeable. Who are other people asking and about what. You are probably making mental notes of who to outright minimize contact with because they look scary, seem aggressive, ect. 

Know what you are looking for helps you figure how to change yourself. You want answers and a leader has them. When you find yourself with a group to lead you need to show you know what you are doing. It doesn't require saying "Me! I know how to do it all look" That's actually detrimental to a leading goal. You want to know who is capable of what. Not knowing everything is acceptable, but not admitting it is shooting yourself in your foot. 

Lets take a simple task of a computer glitch. You know how to call IT, that's about it. Do any of your people know about computers before you call? Have you tried asking before the dreaded, well it's not working we'll have to call IT pronouncement. Someone may have already had and solved the problem without mentioning it. Even if they haven't the fact you were willing to seek theree input means you thought they knew something. Some eye rolling, but it does help.

Pay attention to your workers is the advise I always give. Making jokes helps a lot with this. Not about them, but about the work load. Humor is a great way to help people let off their frustration with out blowing up. Years ago I worked in a call center with a manager/leader. He would walk the floor and make faces to cheer up people on long calls. Often he would sit next to them and draw a picture, a very badly drawn picture to cheer them up. He was beloved and respected by his crew, they knew he understood what they were doing.

It may seem small but simply being around and experiencing things with people will help you to lead effectively. Even if you think you know what your workers are doing, take some time to do it with them. Also take the time to ask for help from them. Both will improve communication and help build your confidence as a manager. 

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