Ten Commandments for the manager
Punctuality, preparedness and participation, not to speak of tactfulness and clarity – just some of the qualities that young managers should grow and nurture.
Interaction is so important in today’s business world. Gone is the system of obeying your boss’s instructions without question. ‘Participative’ is the word in focus now for us to create and uphold reputation.
Here is a list of Ten Commandments I’ve learnt by trial and error, observation and experience, which the New Manager can’t afford to flout if he or she wants to make a lasting impact with world customers. .
Thou Shall Be On Time, With All Deliverables
Punctuality, they say, is the virtue of kings. In the business world, everyone is king. There’s nothing more unprofessional than strolling in late for a meeting, interrupting the proceedings, breaking the trend of the discussion without explanation or prior notice. On-time delivery of e-mails, presentations, all complete and spruced up, seem non-negotiable. Accountability for time and effort is given very high importance in the West and is the magic potion which will see India as the lasting superpower.
Thou Must Come Prepared to Participate:
Coming to a meeting, staying quietly in a corner, and going away without having spoken a word, just doesn’t work anymore. When we’re invited to a meeting, it’s a MUST to do homework. Let’s take note of the agenda, go through any material provided, study figures. We need to ask intelligent questions, give intelligent answers, and contribute valid ideas. Even taking notes and offering a concise recap at the end of the discussion is valuable.
Thou Shall Voice Any Problem Sooner Rather Than Later
Imagine you’re on an important project. You know that for three crucial days you’re not going to be available, you have a cousin’s wedding to attend. You could keep quiet about it, and, after the client interaction, tell your Team Leader privately. It will mean revamping and re-allotting. If your Team Leader goes through the roof, she’s entitled to! The same goes for any suggestion you might have. Don’t be shy; speak up during the meeting, not to your Team Leader later. He will need to get buy-in from other team members, maybe necessitating another meeting, a waste of time. If you are in doubt about your leader’s preference for open communication, say: “I have a suggestion on the software version for this project, may I share it now or offline”.
Thou Shall Not Be a Victim of the Jalebi Syndrome
Have you ever made a jalebi, or watched one being made? A stream of batter is twirled round and round before it’s finally brought to a point at the centre. Often, our replies to specific questions are in jalebi format – we go around in circles before coming to the point. This habit is specially irritating to the Western businessman who expects to-the-point answers. “What time can I expect the sales projections please?” You reply: “I could give it on Thursday, but I’ll have to get some more input, then pull some information from the Net to verify the data, and it’s a closed holiday at Hyderabad, I may have to ask some staff to come in specially, so maybe I’ll need to re-work things”. “What time? What TIME?” the expat will bellow, and you’ll be left feeling hurt and slighted. Much better if you respond directly to the question first and then add details as needed: “Ideally, it should be ready by 5:30 pm, Thursday. But I still need some vital data, and I foresee some problems because Thursday is a closed holiday. So let’s say 5 pm on Friday, at the outside”.
Thou Shall Be Tactful and Diplomatic
The opposite is also true to Commandment Four. While being to-the-point is desirable, being in-the-face isn’t. We New Managers must take care not to go overboard with being ‘direct’. This is something I’ve stressed in my previous columns too. Do take care to be polite, respecting the other person’s dignity and sensitivities always.
Thou Shall Provide Effective Benchmarks
When you’re setting out your ideas and proposals, it always pays to give honest and convincing facts and figures to project your own worth. If you ‘re trying to clinch a supplies deal, you could say, we’ve equipped four other German companies over the last three years (giving names), so we know what you, as a German firm, are looking for in India.
Thou Shall Quantify What Thou Can Do
Often, you will be asked what you propose to accomplish within a specific time. The global businessperson doesn’t appreciate vague statements like “I’ll respond to some of the e-mail queries first, then see if I can call some potential sponsors”. How many sponsor possibilities? And will she even check the e-mails?” your superior will be thinking. If you say, “I plan to respond to six e-mail enquiries first, and then contact at least ten prospective sponsors today”, you’re talking like a professional. Then you MUST walk that talk. This is what builds, trust and faith in you.
Thou Shall Be a Good Listener
Listening is a big requirement for participation. Do pay attention to what others say. Use the Branch Technique for your own responses. This means picking up one word, phrase or piece of information, and proceeding with that. If, for instance, someone talks about advertisements for the souvenir while discussing annual day celebrations, echo the word ‘advertisements’, and discuss budgets and people to approach. When you show you’re listening to others, others are more inclined to value your inputs.
Thou Shall Honour Physical and Mental Space Definitions
Take care not to crowd people. . Westerners are conscious about physical space. Draw an imaginary ‘D’ around you, and keep a hand-shake distance away from the next person. Also give mental space, don’t interrupt when someone’s talking, and don’t rush in with a response, give yourself and others a little time for what has been said to sink in.
Thou Shall Make A Good First Impression
And finally, let’s remember the 55/38/7 statistic: 55 percent of first impressions depend on the way we look, 38 percent on how we speak, and only seven percent on what we actually say. So paying attention to outward appearance and tone of voice could win a whopping 93 marks in a first impression. Food for thought, isn’t it?
|This entry was posted by editor on February 13, 2011 at 11:48 PM, and is filed under Business Line column for the New Manager by Ranjini Manian. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
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