Why some manager been "liked" and some are annoying?
People often thought that becoming a project manager and people manager are the same things. Some things it is two different things. Well there are some points where it actually collides. In both case, it always had peoples to interact with. Human is so hard to predict and full of variety. Each and different individual had it's own mindset and own decision. When come to interaction with peoples, regardless project management or people management, you can be hated or be liked. A good project manager is the same as a good people manager which the members or staff respect and happy working with. Many says that project manager need to be micro to keep track on each task assigned and people manager need to be more macro than project manager. There is no wrong or right on this thought. It just that to be better, one should share the same thought regardless as a project manager or people manager.
J. Keith Murnighan written a good research article on how manager should do less. Some point in this articles are very true if you try on both project and people. There are also few points that can be taken into consideration to be a project/people manager. I'm writing this from the view point as of an employee, project member, and project manager.
- Learn to let it go.
As a good leader, one should learn let go the technical and work details. Not about the Disney animation Frozen OST "Let it go" about but it was how a leader should let go the technical details. Asking every single steps that had been done during the entire project or daily task will be very annoying to most people. Why a leader want to ask so many details and comment on almost each of them? Most manager come from technical background before he/she becoming a manager. Giving the thought of not knowing what happens in between the process and seeing the end result always make them feel uneasy. Especially new manager want to see how things works and check if that follows what he expecting it should be done. Well, it is time to let it go and let your members or staff do their own way. As long as the end results delivered fully meet the scope. If it fails, then shall proceed to provide direction and guide rather than instruct what to do. Therefore, one should reduce asking too much how and why.
- Give privacy.
Not only dating couples want privacy but employees do too. Most employees do not like to be question what they are doing or where did they go. Some manager might want to think that their employees not fulfilling their job properly or misuse the advantages given to them. Some feels unsecured if their employee not under their radar. It is time to let the employee have some privacy. There is no point trying to check out each action/location like a paparazzi because it will just make the employee hates more. Don't care what the employee doing but see the end results. There are many ways to expect the quality end results. That is why focal review come in place. Therefore, it is time to stop asking and stop calling where or what.
- Trust them.
Trust is very important between employee and managers. Not just a dating couple need this. Every single relationship in this world need trust. Trust actually work both ways. Manager with employee and employee with manager. If there are no trust from the manager to the employee, the same thing apply vice verse. Often manager do not trust what their employee. They like to seek for confirmation, ask for reference, show the proof and etc. Instead of looking at productivity and efficiency, they doubt their employee and tends to seek more information for confirmation. Once this happens, employee will lost trust to their management. A thought that the management do not trust us. It creates lost of trust towards their management. "When manager do not trust us, there is no point for us to trust them anymore." The lesser the trust also will makes the employees to lie more. The reason as the employee do not want the management to interfere with the fact. It create the team that "no point letting the management know the truth as they don't trust us."
So next time if you were to become a project manager or people manager, stop micro manage. Learn to let it go, give privacy and trust your employee. No one like to be check all the time. Give them sometime and buffer. Therefore:
Stop asking the things you are not suppose to know as they do not want to know what you want to know. Know what you are suppose to know when they want to let you know. If you want to know everything that you don't need to know, they won't let you know. So you will know when it is time to know.