How do you manage your relations?

By C. Villefrance Moeller, TalesOfLeading

I was impressed how the leader persistently trained team members to know other routes than their own and even take part in the administrative tasks. There was about 25 routes in two teams and and her as leader in the distribution centre. She worked long hours, but as she told me. This was a necessary investment in the team. It would take about 6 months then she would have the flexibility and responsibility in the team she needed. In the meantime I was covering her back as assisting head of distribution centre for a short period. Taking all the management meetings with the district director and the other heads of distribution in the district. I also took a lot the difficult talks with the employees. The leader and I had a really good relationship not just because our talks were frank but also because we had made a clear allocation of responsibility between us.

Gaining trust

The team had lacked attention for some time and met us with scepticism. They doubted there would come any good from managers. Together the leader and I worked hard to show progress in removing the obstacles, they met in their work. They did test us out obstructed in small scale and questioned our intentions. Slowly we earned their trust and they started to cooperate. Even though they started to trust us, they still mistrusted the intentions of the company. We couldn’t change that. Today the distribution centre is closed.

Managing priorities

In another case, I really enjoyed working with my team. We worked together to solve our tasks and improve how we did it. We discussed what happened at our customers trying to understand at make sense of how we could help them. At some point we had difficulties with achieving our targets. As a consequence my boss started to micro manage. He asked for numbers I had to stay at my desk and work with spreadsheets instead of spending time with customers and my team. No surprise, it didn’t improve the results and what I considered worse was that I lost my teams trust in my ability to protect them.

Do you know yourself?

In both cases I was in distress for different reasons. In the first case because it was a temporary position and I didn’t feel safe in terms of what was the next step in my career. There was no formal path to follow but I found my may to a new management position. In the other case I thought I was in the right place, but I found out I was not properly authorized. Recently a friend told me, that I first have to manage myself, my boss, my peers and finally I will be able to concentrate on my team. Looking back, I can see he’s right. I have made so many mistakes, but also managed to survive in the most od way’s. Sometimes it comes back to the essential protection of your own values and integrity.

Questions for you:

  • What are the top three things you spend your time on during an average working day?
  • What do you like the most of these three things?
  • When was the last time you talked with your boss or peers about the roles you have in the management team?

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