Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maintain Good Relationships and Friendships.

Rule 93

“Don’t flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, American poet

I have a friend who has a catchphrase – don’t we all? – and his is, ‘I don’t see how that can possibly be good be good manners’. He uses it if anyone talks across him at meetings or steal his ideas. I love it because it says everything about poor working relationships. Good manners – what a simple concept but how big a subject.

It is easy to maintain good relationships and friendships at work if you maintain good manners. This doesn’t have to mean opening doors for people or carrying their suitcases. Good manners is being polite, warm, human, compassionate, helpful, welcoming – all the things you’d be for your customers, or should be (I’m sure you are).

This becomes tricky when it comes to somebody you don’t like, have clashed with in the past or who has been rude or unpleasant to you. But that’s when it’s most important to use this skill.
Even the rudest and most unpleasant person will find it very hard to keep being rude if you are pleasant, smiling and open with them (especially if you can hear to throw in a little flattery about their expertise on a subject – if its justified, of course).

Try to see your colleagues as if they went equally warm on yourself. If you always approach everyone with cheerful optimism you’ll find that they simply have no choice but to respond in kind. Offer help when you can. Speak to everyone as if they were your equal – as indeed they are. Look for the positive points in people – find something to like or respect about them and focus on that. Take as much time with the most modest of employees as you would with the highest. Treat everyone the same – with respect and decency.

The Rules of Management by Richard Templar
Photo by Microsoft Office

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Be in Command and Take Charge

Rule 99

It is acknowledged that many leaders do not have empathy, but it observed that those who lack empathy lack the ability to move people. Leaders who can instill an atmosphere of working together gain respect, taking charge without taking control.
Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader

You are a manager, so manage. Managing means just that, managing. Managing to work effectively. Managing to be in charge. Managing to be in command.
There seems to be a new movement in which managers are frightened to take command. They seem reluctant to assume control in case their team might resent this or accuse them of being a dictator. Nothing could be further from the truth. Teams with good, strong, commanding, managers go a lot further because they know there is a captain at the helm. Without a captain we are all at sea – lost, scared, about to crash on the rocks. In a way it almost doesn’t matter what captain we’ve got, just so long as we’ve got someone with their hand on the rudder. We all know the first mate does all the real sailing anyway, so the captain can be whatever, but the first mate can’t function unless they know there is someone there, at the helm.
You’ve got to be a hero to your team and a good second-in-command to your boss. You have to be all these old-fashioned things:

- dependable
- reliable
- strong
- trustworthy
- faithful
- loyal
- staunch
- dedicated
- accountable

Boy, it’s all order, a tough call. But the rewards are immense. Being a manager is a fabulous job if you handle it right, abide by the rules and play it straight.

“Managing Yourself
The Rules of Management by Richard Templar”
Photo by Microsoft