Monday, 25 July 2011

Tell Me Why... I don’t like Mondays!

How many times have you dreaded going into work?  I mean really dreaded it to the point that it plays on your mind, ruins your weekend, makes you wake up early and consider all sorts of desperate excuses not to go in?

I’m sure it’s happened to most of us, if not all.
Now think of the reasons why you’ve felt like this.  I bet for most of you, it’s because of someone who you will have to face in the workplace.  Perhaps it’s a colleague, your boss, a subordinate (do they still use that term?) or the person that delivers the mail.  But SOMEONE is making your life unbearable.  And how do these feelings affect your performance, your attendance record, your health, you relationships with other people that aren’t even connected to your workplace – like your friends and family?
Work-related stress is horrible; more so when the stress is caused by the actions or attitude of someone else (or maybe a group of people).  It doesn’t even need to be direct bullying.  It could be subtle.  It may be that this person’s moral compass is so way-off your own that they don’t even need to speak with you to bring about this effect.  And consider this, maybe they’re unaware of the affect that their very being has on your state of mind.  It’s feasible don’t you think?

So, given that it’s possible that such a person may well be unaware of the effects of their actions, isn’t it possible that YOU could provoke the same feelings in others?
Are you quite sure that you are the approachable person that you may think you are?  That you don’t cause someone’s stomach to turn-over whenever you’re anywhere near their personal space.  That you’re not the indirect cause of someone rowing with their partner over the weekend or when they’ve arrived home from work?  That your actions didn’t cause someone to miss their child’s school play or football game?  That your behaviour isn’t the real reason that someone who would be otherwise considered as a talented asset is now leaving the Company because of YOU?
It never harms us to be introspective at times.  Never assume that your good looks, charm and witty personality fit with everyone.  Seek feedback, not only on your performance but with how you come across.  You may even be surprised!
Wishing you every success in all that you do,


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

How to lose friends and disenfranchise people

We’re Landlords of a property in Scotland.  It’s no big thing, just a three-bedroom apartment.  The Letting Manager has stopped responding to our inquiries and refuses to return our calls.  We don’t mean to bother him.  It’s just that we haven’t received all of the rent.  I think that’s good enough reason to disturb his lunch don’t you?  Maybe he doesn’t like being a Manager anymore.  Perhaps the fun has worn off and it’s all become too much trouble.  He’s still taking his 12% cut though.  So why wear the badge if you’re not going to be the person it that it represents?

Isn’t it odd that many people aspire to win the coveted title of ‘Manager’ but when they eventually realize their goal they become the most ignorant and worthless operators who struggle to acknowledge their past ambitions let alone recognize the individuals that make up their team or department or organization?

It amazes me that people operating under this umbrella-title so often relinquish their responsibilities so soon after acquiring them.  You would think that they’d throw themselves into the role.  After all, they’ve waited for it long enough.  They’ve supposedly worked hard for it.  Yet once they’ve had the title bestowed upon them too many will duck and dive; seek to blame others and generally act totally irresponsibly.

The thing is...  The title ‘Manager’ is supposed to mean something.  Look it up in any dictionary and you’ll see that the title infers some form of higher level of responsibility, accountability and authority.

I know of an Accountant that was particularly good at his job.  So much so that he was placed in-charge of the firm’s Accounts Department.  Problem was, the Accounts Department contained people; and he was now in-charge of them too.  Clearly this was another challenge that he would be able to take in his stride because he was such a great Accountant. 

Wrong!  Totally wrong!

So the point here is two-fold:   

First, if you’re an aspiring manager (or you may already hold this title) then please remember what it means to be a Manager.  I don’t mean a systems manager or a manager of equipment but I mean a Manager of People.  There are expectations held by everyone that once they see your badge they assume and expect that you’re up for the job. It tells everyone that you are proficient as a Manager and more importantly that you give a damn. 

Secondly, if you’re considering promoting someone into a managerial role then you must consider their ability to manage others, otherwise it’s unfair on the Manager, the people that hope to be managed and you’ll end up looking like an idiot.

As ever, with best wishes in all that you do,