As a manager, one of the hardest aspects can be leading the team. Your team is made up of humans, who all have different worldviews, cultural backgrounds, ideas and perspectives, not to mention emotions!
Someone once described the delicate balance of personalities at work to me in this way ‘Your world is like a spinning top; you have all these things going on and you are spinning at a certain pace in a certain way. Into your atmosphere comes someone else with their own issues going on, spinning at a different pace and in a different direction. Suddenly the two worlds interact and the spinning pace of both, can be completely thrown off, not to mention the direction. Sparks can fly’.
I think this is a really good analogy for managing interpersonal relationships both at home and work. Those moments where one person just flies off the handle can be seen clearly in the image of the spinning tops.
As a manager, one of the most powerful things you can learn is how your team spins. Who is affected by what? Who gets out of balance? Who is spinning the fastest? Who has the strongest spin and can stand the most external forces? Who has the most delicate spin and needs to be protected?
Knowing your staff really well makes you a very clever manager.
Understand what you need to do for each team member, to correct his or her wobbles. What do they need, to regain their spinning speed and pace? Once you know this, you can pre-empt their problems as soon as you see a little wobble starting up. You can align your management style to the needs of the individuals in your team and develop a much more cohesive and stronger team, able to withstand spinning clashes and external forces.
How about productivity? How can you make your workers spin faster or stronger? Learn what it is, about each of them, that makes their spin strong. Do they need extra support, more training or simply some praise?
What are the trigger points for your workers that make them respond either positively or negatively? We are all individuals, so the triggers are all going to be different for each person. That is why we never manage in one style for everyone – great managers are adaptable.
While the best managers have a stable management style, privately, they know and understand how to get the best from each worker. They adjust, manipulate and tweak everyone’s spin, to get the best effects.
Sometimes, however, it all goes wrong and your team do just not seem to be delivering the goods for the business. If this is happening, good managers always look in the mirror first. Did you train them well enough? Were you clear enough with your explanations and expectations? Go back and review your own work, do it again and concentrate on making sure you have delivered the best management techniques and communication. Then, if the work is still not, where it should be, you know it is not your fault and can start looking at what is stopping the spin in your team.
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