What a manager ought to stop doing

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 04, 2013

Team management
Being a manager requires a set of skills that takes years to perfect. Overseeing a project is easy because that is exactly what you were taught to do in college. But managing people is a different ballgame altogether. Every person is as different as chalk and cheese. So, how do managers manage to keep people going while getting the job done?

Vineet Nayar, vice chairman and CEO of HCL Technologies Ltd, wrote in his blog for the Harvard Business Review that the easiest way for a manager to find out where is going wrong with his team is to ask them directly.

Nayar conducted a flash survey in the social media sites asking “What’s the one thing you’d like your boss to stop doing?”

The responses shocked this head honcho and management guru. Many of the employees, it seemed, were eager to be asked the very questions.
Nayar shares some of the responses on his blog:

Tell it like it is: “Tell it like it is, stop worrying about hurting people’s feelings.” “Stop being outwardly nice and be vocal about dissatisfaction with my efforts.” And “Let people know where they really stand. They know how to win if we tell them the score.”

Stop telling me what I know: Coach me, enable me, support me… was the message, over and over again. “Give us freedom, exposure, and guidance.” “Learn to let go… Create the platform for your team to perform and back them by providing guidance and support.”

Don’t stray; walk the talk: Megaphone managers have thrived for too long; people now want their leaders to be the change they advocate. They’re looking for role models, which was evident in comments such as: “Walk the talk and set me an example. I need to know that we are in it together,” and “Do away with the lack of congruence between your actions and your words because I need to trust you.”

Stop playing favourites: “A horse and a monkey cannot both be judged on the basis of which can climb trees.” Or “Reward performance, not sycophancy.”

Don’t be a boss, be a leader: There was an unmistakable call for appreciative, empathetic, respect-worthy leaders. “Lead by example, not by rules.” “Stop trying to control people.” “A boss inspires fear, a leader inspires enthusiasm.”

The revelations were indeed refreshing and perhaps as a team leader and/or manager, you could ask your team: “What is it you want me to stop doing”?