Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Management Should Know Thyself before Managing Others

One of the most important outcomes of my Organizational Behavior class is the self analysis each student completes during the course.  There are several assessments covering topics such as personality, leadership, decision making, and more.  This coupled with a semester long look at how individual, group, and organizational behavior affects the results (good or bad) of a company leaves each student with their own impression of what it takes to be a good leader or manger.  The following is a brief summary of just how one of my A students Galen F. Schneider views the world as it relates to the topic in the Title above:   

      Five big traits every good manager needs to possess in order to succeed not only in the business world, but also as a manager, are:

1.       A high motivation to manage
2.       A moderately high to high self-monitoring tendency
3.       Be organized
4.       Have an extroverted personality
5.       And an ability to handle stress with precision

First, every manager needs to have a aspiration to manage. This seems to be obvious to most, but believe it or not there are people in management positions that really have no desire to be in their position. This often leads to a poor job performance and a severe lack of job happiness with the manager and often times the manager’s employees.

Second, a good manager needs to have moderately high to high self-monitoring tendencies. This is not so obvious to most managers, but luckily, having a high self-monitoring personality comes pretty naturally to most people. What this roughly means is having the ability to adapt your personality to other people’s personalities when managing them. Let me explain, when you are managing employees, you need to be the type of person they want you to be. If you are dealing with an employee that is sad because of a loss in the family, your employee will want you to be sympathetic to his or her loss. That is why you need a high self-monitoring personality.

Third, being organized is a critical skill for all managers. Again, this trait should be pretty obvious, but some people are just naturally messy. Being organized can mean the difference between a promotion and constantly struggling to find the right documents at the right time. I have seen a manager get passed up for a higher promotion because that manager was completely disorganized and therefore their job performance was severely lacking. It’s not that the manager was bad at his job, he was just disorganized. On the other hand, if you are organized and well prepared, it shows initiative, drive, and that you are a hard worker. So be organized, it might take some work, but it will help you in the long run.

Fourth, have an extroverted personality. I can’t stress this enough. Being extroverted means that you like being around other people. Being around other people gets you energized and makes you happy. This is extremely important for managers because you will be around your employees constantly. If you are an introvert (one who likes to be alone), you will have a much tougher time being a manager.

Lastly, a manager needs to have an ability to handle stress with precision. This is essentially stress management. When the time comes that your workload starts picking up and the paperwork becomes too unbearable, this is when a good manager shows his/her colors. A good manager will pick up the pace, and do the job he/she was hired to do, and do it with precision and a calm candor.

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