I have been fortunate to spend time in Chicago with Dr. Janet L. Szumal and Dr. Robert A. Cooke of Human Synergistics learning more about how to support managers to become more effective by aligning their capabilities with the organization’s vision, values and strategies.
We all know managers directly influence the thinking, behaviour, and performance of the people around them. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly, managers motivate or drive people to behave in certain ways.
Most managers would like their staff and colleagues to view them as positive contributors to the organization’s vision and goals, leading productive and effective teams. They want to be seen as trustworthy, influential, good problem solvers and effective at moving the organization forward.
Yet it’s a familiar lament that people do not leave organizations; they leave their bosses. For example, in a 2006 study by Florida State University more than 40% of respondents indicated that they worked for “bad bosses”.
So where’s the disconnect for Managers?
In many cases, the organization rewards results (the what) over means (the how), driving a focus on more short-term objectives and outcomes. So managers are assessed on the basis of whether they accomplish something, not on how it was accomplished.
There is hope, however. Managers can improve their effectiveness by being more aware and connected to the organization’s strategy, understanding the needs and interests of the organization and its customers/clients, being focused on the long-term, building constructive relationships, and being empowering and supportive.
Human Synergistics has exciting tool that can help managers be more effective: the Management/Impact tool (M/I). This tool gives managers insights into how they approach their work and more importantly the impact that they have on the people around them.
The Management/Impact Tool:
- Gives managers detailed feedback on how they approach their work, the impact that they have on the people around them, and their management effectiveness.
- Examines managerial performance in three categories: tasks (goals, change, problems, results), people (teams, colleagues, communication) and personal (integrity, self development and emotions).
- Provides the manager and the organization with concrete actions to improve overall results and effectiveness.
The thing I like best about the M/I tool is its simplicity. It’s a great tool because it highlights ‘the how’ of a middle manager’s job, empowering their choices and guiding their management style.
Managing from the middle is tough – and the M/I tool helps organizations value this work and the people who do it.