Learning about your team – what makes them tick
When I first took over my “patrol” at 14 years I started managing in exactly the way I shouldn’t have. Strangely as I look about most companies I work with these days I find that managers tend to do exactly what I did (or rather what I shouldn’t have done) years ago!
Some pointers I found useful
Don't apply the same motivational criteria to everyone
Its easy to get caught up in KPI’s and Job Descriptions but at its core remember that you are always managing a human being and each of us are fundamentally different from each other
Learning about what makes them tick is hard when you have your game face on
We never spent time learning about each other in the heat of Saturday’s troop activities – most of the time learning about each other happened during the hours outside of the Scout Room. Spend time outside of the office to get to know your team – it sounds like a lot of work but this way you get to know every bolt of the engine you call a workforce
Don't stop at - 'How are you doing?'
Once you do meet them outside the office they are more likely to open up to you – don’t be cursory – show genuine interest in what they do, how their kids are doing, what the weekend is like and if they do show signs of being distressed don’t be afraid to dive in if they let you – if they are hesitant by all means pull back but bonding over a personal problem is a good way to understand someone and how they react to something
Remember the details
If they do talk to you make sure you remember the details – if you do have a poor memory then write it down on your phone (Evernote anyone?), if they tell you about a kid’s birthday make sure you note it down on a calendar somewhere – managing is a breeze when they feel that they are working for a friend and not a “boss”