Managing People to Manage Themselves

Earlier this week I talked about managing with positive reinforcement. Keeping people happy and empowered, creates a better work environment, helps them be more productive, and creates more loyal coworkers. This is a very effective way to manage. Recently I have been learning about adding in steps that I have used in the past unconsciously. These steps help empower the individual being managed to take ownership of their duties and manage themselves.

How we start this out is by taking an individual we believe would be able to perform a certain task or job. We give them a rough outline of the job and ask them if they are interested in it (this could be a job description with job duties for a position your company has an opening in). If they take the job, we then outline or show them examples of what a job well done looks like. They need to be able to visualize the finished product or a job well done, so they know what they need to achieve. Once they know what they need to complete, we then give them our expectations or parameters we want them to operate within.

Thus far, they have accepted the position or duty. They know what a job well done looks like and they know what parameters to operate within. Now, we are going to add in the self empowerment. We need to give the individual trust and prove to them we will trust them. The individual needs to know, they are the boss of their project. They are the manager of themselves and anyone they need to complete their project. These other individuals need to agree to these terms and have time to help. It is done this way because you are in charge of your position or job duties, you know what the end product must look like, so you can use others to help complete the project, as long as they have time and vise versa. Lastly, the individual is their own judge. Once a week or a certain time prescribed, the individual who gave them the duty will walk through the project with them. They are to judge themselves by explaining what they have gotten done within their criteria, to reach their goal. If they are on track, the project is good to go and everything is running smooth. If they are explaining it and it does not align with the finished product or does not remain within the criteria originally laid out. A discussion will need to be had. Not judging or managing the person but a conversation of why they are not on track and how to get them on track to reaching the end goal. Lets break this down into an example.

Lets say, Dave works for a cereal company. The company just came out with a new line of cereal and Dave is looking for someone to head up the marketing plan to get stores to stock their new cereal. Dave has someone in the marketing department who he believes can complete the task. He sets up a meeting with Kim to discuss the new project. The job requires Kim to get 40 different stores to stock their new cereal. Kim is shown a line of cereal they already have stocked at over 40 stores and how those were marketed to those stores. Kim is able to use those marketing techniques she has learned while being with the company to get the cereal stocked at 40 different stores. She is also encouraged to come up with one other marketing technique the company does not already use. From the job outlined, Kim decides to accept the position.

Dave explains to Kim, she is in charge of the whole project. She is to use the other departments to collect the information she needs to complete her marketing plan. She will need to use the production team to see their supply amount, she will need to gather the information for the health specifications, she will need descriptions on the food, and much more. Kim is to use these departments to get this information as they have time. she will need to manage these individuals to make sure they are completing her requests within a timely manner, so she does not miss her deadlines. Based on all these criteria, Dave is going to walk through the project once a week with Kim and Kim is going to judge herself on how the project is coming along and if it will be completed by the deadline.

This whole process will empower the individual and show them you have complete trust in them to do the job asked. I have learned about doing things very similar to this in college, but I was reminded about this technique by reading “The 7 Habits of Highly effective People” by Stephen R Covey. He has extra strategies of giving trust, which I have not previously learned, which I believe will make this type of management a success. The book has a lot of powerful self development techniques as well as managing techniques. I highly recommend the book for anyone looking to better themselves or work more efficiently.

I am going to be implementing this type of management at Stable Living along with the operating system of Traction. I will keep everyone updated on how that process goes.

Your Life Tutor

-Shaun Tutor


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