Part 1: Preface
I know what you’re thinking, REALLY, another blog about managing? Well you’re right and wrong. This is about all the “things” that happen to us personally in our journey to becoming the great manager we intend. This blog has been a long time in coming for me. Not very long ago I found myself in two situations that pointed out to me why I needed to write this blog.
The challenges facing new managers and supervisor today, or any time for that matter, are many. The obvious one is the “stuff “ we need to learn to manage people. The nuts and bolts of the job along with a plethora of reading materials on techniques and the mechanics of managing a few or many staff members that are in an office or work remotely are all readily available. The challenge that is not so obvious is the emotional roller coaster that happens while learning to be a supervisor or manager. If a manager is not prepared for the emotional bombardment that will occur, it can reck havoc on a them, causing unexpected reactions with unpleasant consequences. Another is the process one goes through in learning how to manage these emotions while working with a new staff. These two challenges (the emotions and the process) are generally dictated by human nature, the manager and their subordinates. Both the emotional challenges and the process are always OJT (on the job training).
This rollercoaster ride (learning about managing) is, at times, exciting and exhilarating. Often it is frustrating, upsetting, frightening and sometimes ugly. It can be the reason why many people fail at the opportunity of managing people. They generally quit, get fired or worst yet stay in a managerial position as mediocre managers with the belief that they are doing well. None of these situations are good for anyone and can be avoided. Until one gains an understanding of and gets a handle on their emotions and ones self, they will always find this thing called managing people difficult, at the very least. What needs to happen is to learn to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
I have watched many new managers or supervisors struggle with the emotional challenges that come at them at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. It is painful and difficult to witness. Some will seek out help while others will not, thinking that it shows weakness or lack of ability by doing so. That is the reason I have chosen to write this blog. I hope to reach out to these individuals to help give some insight into the emotions that occur, with the intent to provide an understanding as to what is happening to them. If I can provide this understanding, supplying some tools to help deal with these challenges, my wish is that I am able to help each new manager improve their chances of becoming better at the art of managing people.
Aristotle said, “We see our selves once removed while others see us twice so”. This is so very true, even today. When mired in our own emotions it is very difficult to see how we are affected and are affecting others as a result of the emotions we feel and the reactions that ensue. Many times our staff or subordinates, intuitively or in other ways, understand what we are feeling emotionally and will use this to improve their situation with their new manager/supervisor. This is not always in the best interest of either party. It is my desire that this blog will help enable a new manager/supervisor to gain a handle on these emotions, processes and the changes an individual goes through in becoming a manager or supervisor. With this knowledge they will be better able to become the manager/supervisor of people they desire, thus gaining their staffs respect resulting in achieving the goals that they so desire.
I remember my first few years as a sales manager/supervisor as if it were yesterday and often draw from those, sometimes painful, experiences to guide me and remind me of my humanity and the humanity of the ones I am managing or supervising. My OJT was anything but easy and I can honestly say I was really bad at managing people when I first began. I consider myself lucky because I had great early mentors who recognized what I was facing and the fact that I had taught first graders for a number of years was also a great help as well. As you read what I have learned and what I have to share in my upcoming posts, I hope you will find you aren’t crazy and that there is a reason why you feel the way you feel as well as why some things happen the way they do on your journey to becoming a great manager.