Manager is a person who holds a vision for an entire organization; a practical genius who possesses both managerial and leadership skills. Most times the success of an organization is determined by the effectiveness of its managers. While some managers are assets to organizations, some who do not understand the importance of being effective managers become liabilities. Managers need to strike a balance between several factors – both internal and external, to keep the show running. In this project, one evaluates two managers on their effectiveness. The first is the manager owner of events planning company and handles all aspects of the business. The second one is a manager in a Multinational IT Company and is a part of a large hierarchy.
The day to day work of event manager involves checking accounts, interacting with clients and vendors, marketing through ads, planning and designing events and corresponding follow ups. The job accounts for a lot of travelling and multi-tasking. The most critical problems one faces as a manager are staffing and building a permanent team with employees who complement each other. Keeping employees for a period of more than two years is an issue that she never has been able to manage. According to this manager, the most critical skills required to be a successful manager in her line of work are patience, stamina, communication and inter-personal skills, negotiation, diplomacy, persuasiveness, diligence, prudence and most of all, creativity. While some of these skills can be developed with training, some others are inborn. If one were to train someone to replace one in one’s current job, main qualities one would look out for would be a definitive passion, patience, stamina and professionalism. One of the most crucial reasons in that manager in one’s line fail to succeed is that they fail to realize the importance of communication, interpersonal and management skills, along with professionalism. Managers who she considers more successful than herself have demonstrated the ability to deliver more than what is promised, diplomacy, strong networking and communication skills regarding employees, flexibility, punctuality and the quality of work.
The day to day work of manager in the IT Company involves preparing and gathering reports from all associated teams, attending meetings to strategize development, as well as resolving issues, analyzing data, communicating with the team onsite and consolidating the working data of all teams. His job is mostly sedentary and the level of interpersonal communication involved is quite less. Most critical problems one faces as a manager are communication related issues. Since most communication is accomplished through e-mails or telephone conversations where there are often a lot of misunderstandings in terms of how information is communicated across from and to all teams. Another challenge one faces is motivating employees to deliver on time. More often than not, the amount of time estimated to complete a particular task is miscalculated by an employee, which, in turn, affects one’s effectiveness. Also, since most communication happens through a third medium, bringing in the feeling of togetherness in a team becomes difficult for one. According to one, the most important skills required for this job are diplomacy, patience, time management, technical skills and decent written communication. One would expect the same of any other person one would train to replace him. More successful managers have been observed to handle issues with ease and creativity.
Both managers, though effective to a certain extent, are aware of their shortcomings and are willing to address them.
‘Time and Tide wait for none’. So much, that by the time one realizes that one has already lost a lot of time. Not until recently did one realize the importance of managing time. One used to be satisfied with taking time to complete day to day activities, until one came across a person who accomplished almost four times what one normally did in a way. On taking a closer look at the person’s schedule, one realized that one had been wasting precious time and could have accomplished much more with the amount of time that one had in hand. One could have comfortably accommodated an exercise schedule, managed to squeeze in cooking, leave alone continuing to complete activities that one normally did. Twenty four hours a day is a lot of time and how one utilizes it plays a key role in how much one accomplishes in life.
While taking up the questionnaire, one realized that there are few activities that one does not give importance to, which might be impacting the way one utilizes time. For instance, one does not pay attention to completing crucial tasks at my best time during the day. Though, one does prepare checklists and somehow manages to complete most if not all tasks on the list – it is a struggle. If one manages to capitalize the best time during the day one is certain that it would no longer be a struggle. Also, one does not keep the track how one spends my time and has caught oneself procrastinating several times. Maintaining a time log would make one more aware of how one spends one’s time and where one can cut down on time wastage. One also noticed that if he or she scheduled his or her time such that one does redundant busy work like replying to e-mails at one set time during the day one would be more organized and productive.
While the time management is not an inborn skill, it is something that can be developed over time with dedication and practice. It could start with a conscious effort to make the most of the twenty fours a day giving oneself much needed rest, as well. Benefits of time management extend to all spheres of life and speak for success.
Overall, one believes a time table would help one do away with most of shortcomings in time management. One also intends to start using a time log to record one’s activities. It has not been difficult for one to understand that efficient management of personal time will directly impact efficient management of business/workplace time for the sole reason that when there is a decent start of the day, everything falls in place.
How Creative Are You?
The creativity score is 62 – in the second quartile of the scoring range specified. The questionnaire focused on methods employed to solve problems, ways one reacts to situations and the general approach towards innovation. While one has been aware of his creativity to a certain extent, one was not aware that his score would be in the range of the second quartile from the top. The creativity is a main deciding factor of success, especially when it comes to management.
In professional, as well as personal life, there will be many instances where it will not be possible to follow step by step instructions or take the trodden path, simply because each situation is going to be unique in its own way. In such circumstances, it is essential to be able to think of alternatives, evaluate them and find a solution. In workplaces, the ability to produce novel and useful ideas is sought after and it is more often than not that mangers in top positions are ones who have been able to survive challenging situations.
Creativity has its perks when it comes to personal life, as well. One is known for throwing surprises, different ways of expressing feelings and making people feel unique. I attribute this to my creativity and the ability to think out of the box. Not only does it make people feel crucial, people reciprocate the same that leads to better relations and a general sense of well-being.
On the professional front coming up with creative ideas that save time and money is an immense bonus. Employers seek for professionals who can save costs for the company and increase revenue. Most times simple and creative ideas can spark a revolution, and that is why people who have or who have developed the ability to think beyond boundaries and the established survive the most challenging of situations, including competition in business and layoffs.
I do believe that one’s level of creativity will lead to a certain amount of success, but there is much more to learn and many more skills to be developed. My creativity is expressed best in times of need, when one is under pressure to perform, however one would like to extend it to normal life or situations that are not demanding. This extends to one’s time management skills as well, because if one can find a way to manage one’s time and do everything that one wants to do, one would be extending the creativity to normal life. I also would like to gain better exposure on things of interest to one as one believes the more one sees, the more one will be inspired, personally, as well as professionally. Working with competitive and effective managers will help one develop a management style of one’s own, in which one aspires to sprinkle the essence of one’s creativity. One would also love to explore various ways of being creative in the personal life.
Strategies for Handling Conflict
Conflicts can arise between any two people with different views. Conflict resolution is a process that can be handled in multiple ways. Some of the most popular methods of conflict management are Forcing, Integrating, Accommodating, Compromising and Avoiding. Forcing brings in an “I win, You lose” philosophy. It is best employed when one knows he or she is right, and there is no other way around it. However this technique has been found to escalate the conflict and encourage retaliation. Integrating is a technique that creates a Win-Win situation for both parties and works on the basis of trust and openness. This technique is best known to foster the team work and reach a common ground between conflicting parties. Accommodating is a technique that demonstrates a “You Win, I Lose” attitude, wherein the focus is on protecting the relationship and downplaying the conflict. Compromising advocates losing something to win something is alright. It also results in a Win-Win situation for both parties. Avoiding is a technique that ensures the person is away from the conflict and the reason for the conflict, in order to save being involved in it.
Conflicts arise as a result of two or more people sharing different views and not being able to reach the common ground. Conflicts are common in both personal, as well as professional life. From previous experiences, one has learnt that when presented with a situation that requires conflict management it pays to listen to both sides of the story. People coming from different backgrounds naturally have different opinions on how things work, and use their opinions to make decisions. While it is a quite natural process, when there are conflicting interests, people involved somehow tend to forget that different backgrounds are involved. When in a conflict resolution situation, listening to both sides of a story always gives an opportunity to identify the root of misunderstanding and reach a common ground of understanding.
As per one’s score on the questionnaire on Conflict Management, one’s primary conflict management strategy is ‘integrating’ and one’s secondary conflict management strategy is ‘compromising’.
One always ensures that one integrates views, opinions, people and backgrounds before one presents my views on the resolution of the conflict. One have observed that an acceptance of the fact that all people think differently and naturally consider themselves to be right, ensures that nobody is judged right or wrong and that the issue is dealt with from a detached third person’s point of view. Not only does it foster better understanding between the people involved, it also lays the foundation to resolve conflicts in a healthy fashion. I resort to facilitating a compromise in a conflict when it is evident that both parties could gain something by giving up on something that they can afford. I consider these two techniques more comfortable to work with than forcing or accommodating and would wish to continue using the same. I intend to closely observe people in conflict resolution scenarios and learn more about different nuances of the same.