Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.
Recognizing Your Weaknesses
May 1st, 2012
When your career is going well you don’t usually take time to think about what you’re doing wrong. If it appears that what you are doing is working you continue carrying out business as you have been. Be warned, this strategy can be extremely risky and can actually derail your entire career.
Be careful not to overrate your leadership skills because your boss and your co workers won’t. As companies have been forced to deal with the fallout from the recession they have raised the bar on management performance. Companies cannot afford to keep managers who have serious flaws. Be sure to seek out feedback from workplace allies who you know will be honest with you. The people who you manage are likely going to flatter you whether or not you deserve it. You cannot and should not rely on your subordinates to give you accurate feedback. If you do you will be less likely to make strategic changes that are necessary for the success of your company and subsequently less likely to hang on to your job or advance your career.
Be sure to ask specific questions when inquiring about your strengths and weaknesses. Ask about how you are perceived when addressing a group and how you are perceived when addressing individuals. Ask what people really think about your plans for the company. If you just ask somebody how you’re doing in general they are likely to say you’re doing good and dismiss the whole conversation. You need to make it clear to them that you are really interested in improving your performance as a manager and that you value their opinions. Once you come up with a list of strengths and weaknesses make a plan.
Actively try to improve upon your weak points and continue to seek feedback. Let the office know that you are making some changes in order to improve your workplace performance. They’ll appreciate your effort and will be more likely to be patient with you as you attempt to alter your behavior. Once you feel like you’ve made the necessary changes ask people if they notice an improvement. Don’t just assume that because you’re trying to hold a friendlier tone or are trying to be more patient you are actually succeeding. It can be extremely difficult to alter your behavior. As a manager you expect your employees to listen to you, maybe it’s time you listen to them.