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How to be an effective manager???

Updated on January 18, 2014

Introduction

Effective management starts at a personal level and then moves on to the personnel level. Effective managers become role models for subordinates. They play vital role in improving the overall effectiveness of the organization. It is generally believed that managerial effectiveness is an inherent quality of executives and cannot be learn t. However, the truth is has effectiveness can be learn t and with practice, can be perfected.

Effective managers have to specific personality traits. Some of them are very analytical while some are intuitive. Some can take very good decisions and some are good planners. However, all these managers have one thing in common effectiveness. They are effective in whatever they do and whatever

Managers select people for tasks based on their talent, apart from their experience, intelligence and determination. They then specify the objectives and give the subordinates the freedom to plan their own path to achieve those objectives. Effective managers focus on the strengths of the employees and not on their weaknesses. Moreover, they promote these strengths. They motivate subordinates by focusing on tasks that they can perform well rather than focusing on those that their subordinates to improve themselves by giving prompt feedback and constructive criticism.

Basic Managerial skills

The basic activities managers perform are panning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling, and controlling. However, the most important skis they required are planning skills and organizing skills.

Planning is the first activity any manager needs to undertake. Planning means deciding what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. The underlying principle of management planning is that the future situation will be different from the present one. For example, the demand for a particular product may increase or decrease in the future, and a manager has to plan keeping these fluctuations in mind. To be efficient at planning managers should have detailed knowledge of both the past and present conditions of the organization.

Effective managers collect information from various sources before preparing a plan. They must collect information about the market and the industry in which the organization is operating.

Contribution

Managers have many responsibilities in an organization. Many managers are more concerned about the inputs or means rather than the output or ends. They are concerned about how the organization contributes their own success, power and authority. Effective managers, on the other hand, focus on how they can contribute to the organization.

Managers are responsible for the contribution of their own efforts as well as those of their subordinates. This responsibility for others’ contribution may sometimes shadow their own contribution to the organization. Hence, effective managers should analyze what they can personally contribute. This helps them to identify their own potential and the areas where their contribution needed. Managers who are not sure of what and how they can contribute to the organization may be concentrating al their efforts in the wrong place or direction.

Productivity

Since managers work at managing others, they must recognize that each individual has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. Effective managers make productive use of these strengths. They make use of all the strength available to them i.e. their own strength, that of subordinates, superiors, etc. and use all these to improve organizational productivity.

Effective managers recruit people based on their strengths even if they have some weaknesses. They do not look for people who do not have any major weaknesses, since people who have major strengths generally have major weaknesses. Therefore effective managers try to make the weaknesses of their subordinates irrelevant and work on their strengths. They recruit people to strengthen the organization.

Prioritize

Managers have to perform many activities in a day and they have to be effective at each one of them. It is important for them to perform one activity at a time to be effective at each activity. They need to make many vital contributions to the organization and it is important to identify these activities. Effective managers identify the important activities and perform one activity at a time.

Effective managers use their experience and knowledge to avoid performing those types of activities that have been unproductive in the past. This helps them save on both time and resources. Many managers are conscious of past successes but forget about past failures. But effective managers are always conscious of their past failures and make sure that they do not repeat them.

Effective Decision-making

Managers have to take many decisions in a day. It is part of their various responsibilities. Managers may spend only a few seconds on taking a decision but this decision could have a major impact on the organization. Hence, it is very important for managers to take the right decisions at the right time. Effective managers take decisions only after making a systematic analysis. They have the ability to differentiate between a good decision and a quick decision. They focus on taking the right decision rather than a quick one.

The decision-making process involves a careful analysis of the available alternatives and selecting the best solution based on judgment. Some people believe that making an effective decision depends on the intuition of a manager and cannot be taught. On the other hand, there are others who believe that the manager’s knowledge and intelligence enables him/her to take effective decisions. Effective managers use their knowledge and experience along with intuition to make a decision. Managers can become effective decision-makers only with practice.

Effective Communication

Communication is important for any manager. Managers have to communicate policies, procedures, and strategies in an organization. They must communicate plans, delegate work, and train employees at different levels and deal with clients, customers, and suppliers. They have to communicate at both the organizational level and the individual level. Communication at the organizational level involves communicating policies, giving information, and motivating employees. At the individual level, it involves one to one communication to share ideas and exchange information on a day to day basis. An effective manager should therefore, be an effective communicator.

Communication at the organizational level involve s several activities. These include increasing the understanding, gaining support, and involving and gaining the commitment of people. This level of communication uses reports, memos, meetings, notice boards, video conferences, and e-mails. Communication at the individual level involves dealing with subordinates, giving instructions, and communicating responsibilities. A manager’s communication process is affected by his/her feelings, values, facts, and attitude. They affect his/her attitude and the way he/she communicates.

Ethical Manager

Each manager faces ethical issues almost each day at work. Ethics is a term used to refer to rues or principles that define right or wrong conduct. Business ethics refers to truth and justice and has a variety of expectations of society, fair competition, advertising, public relations, social responsibility, and corporate behavior in the home country as well as in other countries where the business is operating. Managers are responsible for taking ethical decisions in an organization, which may be about bribes, conflicts, firing or hiring an employee, etc.

Effective managers give importance to ethical practices at work. Ethical issues raise a conflict between the financial performance and moral values of an organization. Ethics is about social responsibility whereas business is about making money. Effective managers make the harmonious coexistence of ethics and business possible.

Stress Management

The highly competitive business environment leads to stress for managers. Managers are more concerned about achieving targets and meeting deadlines and in this process, they neglect the stress associated with these. Over a period, this stress can result in a total burnout that has hazardous effects like heart attacks, nervous breakdowns, etc. To be effective at work, managers need to handle stress. They have to take measures to avoid stress or reduce it.

Managing stress enables managers to identify the various sources of stress and its effects on their personal and professional lives. These has also provides some strategies to deal with stress like delegating, prioritizing, etc. Once managers deal with stress, they can take measures to avoid stress. The chapter also deals with how stress can be avoided by practicing meditation, yoga, and using some holistic therapies. It takes a look at the importance of work-life balance and spirituality in dealing with stress.

Time Management

Managers feel the scarcity of time more than anyone else due to the varied activities they need to perform. Effective managers, however, use their time productively. There are several misconceptions about time; people believe that effective time management is about saving time or working quickly or working on many tasks at a time. But this is not time management. Time management is about spending time on a task after analyzing its importance and reducing the time spent on unproductive tasks. Effective time managers use time logs to analyze how they spend their time and are able to identify where they are wasting time.

These time logs can also be used to prepare plan resources and time. The plans should support the organizational resources. Managers should set objectives that can be achieved within a specific time span and then plan to achieve the goals. In order to achieve these goals, the managers should schedule their tasks, delegate tasks to others, and effectively control time wasters.

Creativity

The need for managers to be creative is becoming more and more important in the corporate world. A manager needs to be creative to be innovative, which is the greatest tool needed to survive in today’s competitive world. Creativity helps an organization to have a competitive edge over others. An organization that nurtures and encourages creativity helps managers to be creative. It is a popular belief that creativity is inborn; that it is natural talent that cannot be developed.

Studies have proved this belief wrong and many organizations are developing a culture to enhance creativity. Managers can develop and stimulate creative ideas by using methods like brain storming, the Delphi method, etc. It also looks into how creativity can be developed and the various tools and techniques that are available to enhance creativity.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own feelings and emotions and those of others. This ability guides the thinking process of an individual. Managers deal with people. They need to manage their emotions and that of others in order to be effective. Emotional intelligence helps managers to have control over their emotions as well as analyze the emotions of others and influence them. Today more and more organizations are giving importance to emotional intelligence while recruiting people. Emotional intelligence has now become an integral part of corporate training and many national and international firms are offering training on emotional intelligence to employees.

Deals with emotional intelligence in management, are the nature of emotional intelligence, analyzing the impact of emotional intelligence on the workplace, applications of emotional intelligence in the workplace, and ways and means of improving emotional intelligence.

Interpersonal Skills

The skills that are required to understand and manage actions and feelings and motivate a person are called interpersonal skills. Managers required this skill because they need to manage others. Effective managers are effective at managing others. the ability to interact with others effectively is their basic quality. This helps them to deal effectively with superiors, subordinates, and colleagues. Developing interpersonal skills involves managers obtaining the skills to understand others.

Leadership Skills

Effective managers need to motivate and lead their subordinates. In order to lead others, they have to process influencing and persuasion skills. These skills can be developed only with practice. Leaders must have a vision and they should be able to translate their vision into objectives and strive to achieve them. They must motivate the employees to achieve goals. And to be able to motivate the employees they need to know the nature of the employees, their expectations, goals, etc.

Multi-Cultural Communication Skills

The most important skill managers require in today’s world is multi-cultural communication skills. In organization where the team are diverse and include people from various cultures, managers need to have knowledge about different culture. Multi-cultural communication skills enable a manager to understand and deal appropriately with other cultures. These skills are about respecting other cultures and being sensitive to their values and beliefs. Effective managers try to understand the belief of various cultures and their effect on the organization. It also discusses some common mistakes that occur while communicating in the global business scenario.

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