business consultant John Silver


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5 Resolutions That Can Make You A Stronger Manager In 2017


When I reflect about my career in the human resources field in Mauritius, I realise that most of the problems in human resources caused in the workplace are directly or indirectly related to managers having poor managerial skills and making faux pas too much often. 

As a matter of fact, to play the devil’s advocate, we understand that no one is born a manager and much experience, tact and training are required to refine the soft skills of a manager. 

Below are the resolutions that I wish to every manager and which have been inspired by Victor Lipman who writes for Forbes: 

I will not be a conflict-avoider. Avoiding conflict as a manager is an all-too-easy thing to do: the path of least resistance. Potential conflict abounds in management: with your employees, with your own manager, with colleagues, with customers, etc. 

I will spend time where I need to, not where I want to. Most managers have wide latitude on where they choose to spend their time: which projects they'll focus on themselves and which they'll choose to accomplish through others.  There's a natural temptation for all of us to spend time on functions we really like. 

I will resist the (natural) temptation to play favorites. Face it, even though we may not like to admit it, as humans we all have tendencies toward favoritism. Some employees are just likable and easy to work with, others can be, well, downright difficult. But some of those difficult ones can still be extremely talented and valuable. And as a manager we have a responsibility to be scrupulously fair... even if that sometimes runs counter to the course we'd personally like to take.

I will hold on to only the tasks I really need to, and thoughtfully delegate the rest. Effective delegation is all about balance. Delegate too little and you're buried; delegate too much and you can bury your people. Finding the right balance is a delicate but important management challenge. 

I will carve out time to help my employees grow. Employee development is one of those functions that there never seems to be enough time in the day for, and (worse still) is hard to demonstrate ROI on. Because it's not really a short-term endeavor; by nature it takes a while for a growth to occur. But the best managers do make time for it. Numerous studies show that employee development is both highly valued and highly neglected. Managers who excel at growing their employees are usually rewarded with appreciation and productivity.

Management is nothing if not a multi-faceted discipline requiring a broad mix of very different skills. Best of luck with all of these in 2017!