August 29, 2016

Managing the Managers

 |  By: Mike Opperman

If you have a large number of employees, it’s likely you have managers who lead specific teams. How you work with those direct reports is different than how other employees are managed.

A Harvard Business Review article appearing today provides insights into how to effectively manage managers. The author of the article states that there are two responsibilities for managing those that manage others: make sure they are producing good work, and that they are also supporting their teams.

The article shares eight ways to help your managers be more effective. They are:

  1. Model the right behavior – people will learn how to lead from you.
  2. Change the focus of your coaching – instead of asking about a specific project, ask how the manager is doing working with their staff to complete the project.
  3. Compliment them in public – demonstrate their credibility to others.
  4. Use an apprenticeship model – set up scenarios where you can work together so you can explain what you are doing and why you are doing it.
  5. Give them space – allow people to lead in their own way.
  6. Go through the same training – if you were involved in a formal training program, have them go through the same curriculum. You’ll speak the same language.
  7. Get to know their team – better understand their teams so you can help the manager. But do so in a way that doesn’t undermine their authority.
  8. Find out how you’re doing – get feedback from your reports on a regular basis to gauge your coaching ability.

More information is provided in the article, including case studies on two of the points outlined above.