Monday, August 23, 2004

...You Need to Know, Pt. 2 - Management

In my previous post I review the first part of Markus Buckingham's session, covering the value of engaging employees. In this post, I'll review how management and leadership does this through management (Leadership will be Part 3).

Management's chief responsibility, says Buckingham, is to take their talent (people) and turn it into performance. They are a catalyst, and genuinely believe in their people. Great managers find what is unique about each of the workers, and capitalize on it. Buckingham compared it to the difference between chess and checkers. Good chess players understand how to take advantage of the different moves the pieces can make. The managers do this by:
1. Knowing a person's strengths and weaknesses, and managing around the weaknesses.
2. Knowing a person's triggers (what motivates them). This could be what work week schedule works best for them, more face-time with their boss, more independence, having an audience, being praised in front of peers or praise from the customer, awards, certificates.
3. Knowing a person's optimal learning style:
a. Analyzer - leave them alone with the directions. They hate mistakes. Don't ever throw them into a situation where they must perform right from the start.
b. Doer - Throw 'em in the ring and let them have it. They learn doing it. Give them the task, state the expected result, and get out of the way. For them, work doesn't have meaning unless it is for a real situation (meeting, presentation, production).
c. Watcher - Learns by imitation, watching. Have them rides shotgun with your best employee.

How does a manager learn what motivates their employee and what the employee's optimal learning style is? Pay attention. Ask them questions such as:
1. What was your best day at work? Why? How can you repeat it?
2. What was your worst day at work? Why? How could you avoid it?
3. What was your best manager relationship?
4. What was the best recognition you ever had?
5. When in your career did you learn the most? Why?

More on my next post...

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