6 absolutes you must remember as a manager of people

I am finishing up a great read on coaching from a managers perspective.  The book is titled Coaching For Improved Work Performance; Increase productive, raise quality, reduce absenteeism, get more creativity, increase sales.  The author is Ferdinand F. Fournies.  He has written several books around the this topic.

What is a management?

1. We can all agree that management is getting things done through others.  This is the basis of all management.  Which means you must equip the people you manage so they can do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Picture this:  It’s a Monday morning at 7:00 and you (the manager) can’t make it to work that day.  You are sick.  So you call in and don’t show up.  What happens that day at work while you are gone?  There is a high likelihood that if you manage sales people, sales will still be made that day by your team.  Outbound phone calls to potential customers will still be made.  If you manage a customer service office. Customers will still be serviced by your team.  If you are in manufacturing, whatever it is you manufacture will still be manufactured.

Now lets flip this scenario upside down.  Lets say its Monday.  You have a few people on your team that are sick. So they call in and are unable to show up.  What happens to the work that day?  Do the calls still get made to the people who want to buy?  Do the customers still get serviced at the level they expect with fewer people there?  If you are in manufacturing, do the things you manufacture still get manufactured?  The chances are, none of this happens.  Production is stalled because you are missing your team.

So lesson number #1 in management is this.  You need them more than they need you.

2.  Management is a series of interventions.  It is based on the things you do and the way you interact and behave as a manager.  Everything you do on the job is being interpreted by your team this way.  “Is this for me or against me.” So you must do things the right way every single time.

3.  Something I have been guilty of is trying to be an amateur psychologist.  We don’t have to be psychologists to be effective managers, nor should we.  There is no such thing as an amateur psychologist.  You either have your PH.d in it or you don’t, the chances are you don’t, so don’t try to be one.

4. In management, you are not buying people, or their minds, their values, you are only renting their behaviors.  Managers jobs are not to change people or their values.  Management is to change people’s behaviors and get them performing the behaviors you are renting from them.

5. Back to being an amateur psychologist which you aren’t.  If you are trying to determine why or why not people are doing the things they are doing, just stop it. Instead ask them why they chose to do this, instead of doing that.  Most of the time people don’t know what to do, because they only know what they know.  Your job as a manager is to make sure they have enough information to pursue alternatives in their decision-making process. If you want people to make better decisions on what they do, be sure they have as many choices as necessary to choose from.  Yes this requires training.  Training helps educate employees in the different choices they can choose from when making decisions and performing the behaviors you are paying them to perform.

6. In scientific management we use a term called behavior modification. Most managers are equipped to deal with behavior modification because we can look at a behavior and determine whether it was correct or incorrect. We can also measure it, and ask for them to correct it if necessary and we have the ability to see when it changes. People management is managing behaviors.

This book is a great read and these six absolutes can get you back on track as a manager if you have inadvertently gotten away from what your job is as a manager.

To your success and your future.

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