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Things to remember… A management lesson

Management! What to write on management? C’mon, I’m an engineer. How can I write an article on management? These were the questions that struck me when trying to write something on the term “Management”. I tried looking over internet, even tried to study management books, but all was in vain. 5 days past and still not a single word has been typed. Then last night, I decided to write on my own way; my own way of explaining the meaning of management. Some might not like my views but they certainly won’t disagree either.

We, software engineers, always think why we need to or switch to management. I mean we are from the science background and how can we be in management field. Its just won’t work. But we don’t realize that we are always being engaged in management. Let us say for e.g. writing a code for program. While developing, we always keep care about the good structure and well managed code. So look, you are into it. You might think how this small code or program can help me in developing managerial skills. Well my friend as described in dictionary, “Manage” is to succeed in doing something especially something that seems difficult or impossible. Therefore doing something that is regarded as difficult or impossible isn’t small thing.

You might be thinking “Ok, I got your view. So what next?”.

Each year, thousands of engineers, make the switch from engineers to manager. When we were engineers we are rewarded for our technical skills. But as a manager, the success is measured not by your output but by the output and productivity of the people you supervise. So below are the qualities I think a good manager should have at least.

(Truly speaking below are the basic qualities that I think I should have when I become a manager, hope to be in future……..ha ha).

Human Touch: (Name referred from Robert W. Bly. I like the term “Humane”)

The most valuable qualities that you can develop are the patience, kindness and respect for other people.

Although machines (in our case computers) don’t care what you do to them, but people do. Your subordinates are not just engineer or programmers, first they are people. People same as you are. People that have families and People with feelings. When you respect them as people rather than just an employee you’ll get their respect and loyalty in return.
But when they are down and losing motivation to perform you treat them impersonally.

So the next time you are about to express your displeasure from their work, ask yourself first. What would you do when you are in their place? Would I like to hear those things?

Think about it!

Don’t be too specific:
As a manager, you need to keep your people in the right track. While doing so, you should point out the errors (if there are any) and tell them where they have gone wrong.

We know that many managers are too much specific. They rarely accomplish much or take on anything new themselves, but they are only too happy to tell others where they went wrong, why they’re doing it incorrectly, and why they could do the job better.

Don’t you ever try to be that kind of person. You have more knowledge and experience that the people you are supervise. Also that is why the company has made you the manager, the Big Boss. You should teach and share you know knowledge and experience.

Sharing is caring!

Guide them:

The people, you are supervising, are inexperience and needs to learn more. While learning let them make mistake, let them fail. Generally when making mistakes we get punished. Let’s say, when we make mistake we often get in the “black list” of managers.

But successful managers know that the best way for their people to learn and grow is through experience and that means taking chances and making errors. Always give your people to implement their ideas and skill to their work but to the less priority works. This will help them build themselves- to be independent and to accomplish goals.

The next thing is the availability. Have you ever been enthusiastic about a project, only to find yourself stuck, unable to continue, while you waited for someone higher up to check your work before giving the go ahead for the next phase? These are the general things that happens each day, isn’t it?

As a manager, you have many things to worry about besides your mail and reports. The delay in delivering the project causes more frustration, anger and worry. Although you have many things to do, give priority to approving and reviewing the project. This will let your people know you are genuinely interested in them. And that’s something they’ll really appreciate.


Personal interest:

How’s you dad/mom? How your son doing in his studies/games? Well these are the questions a technical manager rarely asks with his people. I don’t know why but manager tends to always have distance in these social issues. Perhaps it’s because engineers are more comfortable with equations, bugs and inanimate objects than with people.

If you’ve been ignoring your employees, then get into the habit of taking a few minutes every week (or every day) to say “hello” and chat for a minute or two If an employee has a personal problem affecting his mood or performance, try to find out what it is and how you might help. Send a card or small gift on important occasions and holidays, such as a 10th anniversary with the firm or a birthday. Often, it is the little things we do for people (such as letting workers with long commutes leave early on a snowy day, or springing for dinner when overtime is required) that determine their loyally to you.

Take care!

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