Hi girls, in this installment of Career Advice, we will be talking about Management Skills. I’m reading the book “It’s OK to Be the Boss” and it has actually been a really helpful book. As career women we are either in a management position or will be promoted to be in a managerial position sometime soon so I thought it would be helpful to share some of my experience with management and what I have learned and tried to implement in my daily life at the office by reading this book.
I first got my experience with management in retail. I worked in a small boutique for a couple of years and eventually moved up to a management position at Ann Taylor Loft. If you have ever worked in retail, you should be familiar with the challenge of people management. While working in a small boutique, the main issues were gossip but nothing major. Everyone knew I was in a “management” position and respected it (sort of). When I moved to Ann Taylor Loft, I was the youngest manager and all of the people I managed, were older than me – that was a tricky situation. I had a hard time giving out orders and holding people accountable of their actions because it seemed a little weird that I was the boss but my boss, wasn’t afraid to hold me accountable because indeed, when she wasn’t there, I was the boss.
It took me some time to learn to manage my team. My boss was very strict; she didn’t allow us to fail. To be the best was the goal and it was the expectation. Her managerial skills were to hold you accountable by asking questions about everything you did that day and not allowing excuses. So, I imitated her. When she was gone for the day and I took charge, I would ask myself … “What would she do?” and little by little, I learned by imitation. Managerial skills are developed, not always inherited. When you start a job, find a person you resonate with. Is she a good manager? Observe and imitate until it becomes your nature.
The employees at my store didn’t like my boss much because of her management style. Some thought that she was a micro-manager, some thought she took everything too seriously and some thought she was a complete jerk. I won’t lie, in the beginning she was a bit intimidating (and probably this is an area in which she can work on) but by reading the book “It’s OK to Be the Boss” I realize, she has been the best manager. When you are in a management position, you are responsible for the person or team you are management. If they fail, you fail. In order to really, effectively manage your team, take into consideration the following points:
- Don’t fear conflict. If you manage and guide well, conflict will become less common
- Monitor, measure and document your employee’s performance on an on-going basis; not just once a year.
- Correct failure. Reward success
- Provide clear direction and guidance. Constantly.
- Know there are low performers and high performers in your team. I f you are treating everyone the same, you are treating them all as low performers.
- Have one on one meetings with each person of your team every week if possible. This will allow you to guide, mentor and asses them.
Having great managerial skills simply means to tell your employees what to do, how to do them, when to do them by, assessing them and based on their performance, correct or reward. We want to give employees the freedom to do the task you are demanding however they see most fit but you have to do your part by teaching and guiding them with what you know as “best practices”; it’s the only way you will be able to hold them accountable.
If there’s a problem, you are the solution. If you are the boss, everyone’s counting on you.
How are you managing your team?
Thank you so much for passing by!