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Can you win your team’s trust by blaming the upper management?


Blaming managementAs a line-manager, it becomes really tempting to distance yourself from your own superiors. It seems an easy option to win the hearts of your employees by blaming aggressive deadlines, overtime, and new process changes to the upper management’s initiative. Isn’t it? Does this mean that you have discovered a gold mine to develop a trust relationship between you and your team?

It’s not quite that easy. If you want to create bonding with your employees then there are other avenues to do so instead of creating this bonding over being a victim of the upper management together. By blaming all the unfavoring decisions to your upper management, you are eventually damaging the confidence of your team. Some of the side effects may be…..

1. High turnover: Your team will feel that they can’t trust the organization anymore, and hence, they will start looking for their next career move.

2. Team stagnation: Due to the negative perception of the upper management, your team will think that their inputs are not valuable in the organization. Thus, they will stop providing their valuable inputs to you, and hence, they won’t be able to provide any value to the organization.

3. Loss of respect: Even though you started blaming the upper management for all the negative decisions to build the trust between you and your team, you won’t be able to help yourself from losing the respect of your team. Due to your negative publicity of the upper management, your own team members will think that you are weak and powerless in the organization. And hence, their respect for you will decrease over time.

Thus, when you think that the easiest escape from your team’s negativity is to blame the upper management, then think twice. Don’t ever use phrases like…..“I don’t know why we’re doing this”, “no one ever consults with me on these new initiatives”, “I disagree with this upper management’s decision as well” etc.

A true leader should have the courage to represent the upper management and their views. If you disagree with their decisions, then instead of blaming them in front of your team members, confront them, try to understand the reasons behind those decisions. And remember……by blaming your superiors, you are not going to build any relationships, you will only lose respect of your team.

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Manager’s guide for a new manager: How to quickly learn the workings of your new team?


classic-booksOne of my friend headed the quality function at a medium-sized durable goods company. And once he got a job offer as a general manager in one of its largest plant, he jumped on the opportunity. After briefly examining the new plant, he declared it outdated and went on to rebuild it from ground up. But while doing this, he neglected the importance of understanding the current processes, and interpreted employee’s silence as agreement. No wonder, his idea was not accepted positively. And soon after the new plan was put in place, productivity plummeted and quality suffered.

In order for you to not repeat this mistake, you need to first try to learn the existing operations of the team, strengthen your relationships with the team members, and then try to make changes to the process. In this blog, I will provide you with few tips through which you can accelerate your learning process about the current processes/procedure of your team.

Ask your people: The simplest method to learn the workings of your new team is to ask your people. You would be surprised by knowing how much of the knowledge your new team has to share. Don’t be afraid of looking foolish, while asking very basic questions to your team. I would recommend you to ask these questions during your one-on-one session with your employees. In this way, you will still get the information that you need, without getting embarrassed in front of many people (if you ask any foolish questions).

Train yourself: Another method to quickly familiarize yourself with the existing processes of your new team is to treat yourself like a new employee. I would recommend you to have few days allocated solely to train yourself. During these days, you should work with your team as if you were a new employee joining the team, and tell them to run the show. By doing this, you will not only learn the existing processes of your team but you will also earn the trust of your team by showing them you care about them. Worst come worst, you will be in the position to define the training guide for the new employee joining your team.

Learn from documents: If I were you, I would invest some good amount of time going through all the documentation of the team before I ask someone. In this way, you can learn about the workings of your team without looking foolish in front of someone. This will also give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the document standards of your new team, so that you can follow these standards while changing the documentation, if you choose to change the existing process.

I hope, this blog helps you to accelerate your learning process while understanding the workings of your newly acquired team. If you were in the similar situation like my friend, what would you have done?

Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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