Its the small things that matter

It’s the New Year, a time for reflecting and over the past few days I have been reflecting upon how difficult many managers appear to make their task. Now before I spell out my ideas on how to make things easier, I need to qualify my thoughts. I accept that managment is not easy. I know from my own experiences I didn’t ever find management easy. Yet I can look back on many of my past mistakes and I can see where I didn’t do many of things I outline below.

  1. The most important thing you can do show appreciation for the efforts of other people in your work group. It’s as simple as saying Thank You. Don’t reserve this appreciation for ‘effort beyond the call of duty’, instead appreciate the little, every day things you people do. I know that when someone thanks me for for effort and gives me credit for my efforts I am more inclined to share with them and less inclined to argue with them.
  2. Ask people what it is they intend to do. This shows you are interested, it provides you with an indication of whether people are working together and travelling along the same track, it provides you with an indicator of where you can help. It also helps people articulate their goals and outcomes – it takes stuff out of their head and makes it real.
  3. Many managers ask someone, “How are you doing?” Try changing the language and ask, “How are we doing?” There is more to this than simply seeking input on the progress being made. It is about you learning. When you ask this question frequently you get to learn about operational aspects, the things that are being done, how they are done, why they are done this way and the impact of organisational barriers. Remember when it comes to operational aspects the people in your workgroup have the best understanding, they have the solutions to problems; all you need to do is tap into their knowledge.
  4. Facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information. Avoid issuing edicts telling people to share; instead create an environment free of fear, where people can talk, share, challenge, argue, listen and learn from each other

Those are my thoughts for the day. When you do these things then the task of being a manager will become easier.

Let The Journey Continue

John Coxon


About John Coxon

Principal consultant for John Coxon & Associates, a management consultancy working with boards and management teams in healthcare, aged care and not for profit organisations to develop effective strategic planning processes and social enterprise business plans
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