Part 1: Essentials of Supervision - Things I learned

What makes my work unbearable? It's when you need to face people you don't really like but you have no choice but to come up to them, paste a smile and pretend that everything between you and that person is fine.

I'm not really a people magnet. I had already accepted that fact over 10yrs ago. I knew I got no charisma in attracting people to like or listen to me. I learned that when back in high school, I ran for a position in a school body competition four times and ended up defeated four times as well. I never win when it comes to winning public vote. Maybe this is also the reason why I have few, chosen friends which I called the 'privileged ones'. Well, I am happy being with them because with them, I totally have no inhibitions!

The fact that I'm not good at winning people had me asking why I end up in the management position where I have to deal with every people in a team, some very difficult to handle in fact, delegate tasks, coordinate/corresponds with them, get something from them, get them going and making them work for the common objective. During one of my interviews, I was asked about what are my weaknesses. Without hesitations I pointed out that if there would be any tasks that I probably decline is to 'handle people'. People management is not really my cup of tea. I don't like politics. I hate dispute and I'm not a good in resolving conflicts. And somehow managing people would put me into situations where different people with different views/attitude would clash and I will be the go-between.

Second, I hate to point out negative side of one person, much more say it upfront, on their face and explaining to them the areas they need improvement. I'm not good at words and when I am nervous, I fumble for best things to say. It is easy to spot quantifiable elements of the team member's low performance but pointing out there faults at work and bringing these into the open and interpreting the measures and feedback to them without sounding so blunt is very difficult. With my current load, performing project appraisal is included on my job scope. When project ends, I would as much avoid doing the the PPA (project performance appraisal) but I know it would be unfair to my colleagues for several reasons: without preparing their PPA and giving feedback on how they carry out their tasks, how would they be able to perform better? How would they be able to meet the management's expectations? How can they become more mature? Lastly, how could I motivate them if I would just be passive and not talk about the best approach for them to excel?

Lastly, being in project management means 100% directing people. Bringing the best out of them. Training them. I can say I have patience when it comes to training and coaching people, I have already put myself into test on this matter as I am currently handling several interns on my project. However, the challenge lies when the person you're directing has longer tenure than you are. They are the roots and you are just a newbie. They have product knowledge why you have the experience on theories, methodologies and process. They been doing things the way they do it in years. How can you get them to listen to you? To believe in you? And to get them do things the way you want them to do without being too pushy or too lenient? I've been in this situation for more than a year now. And it is so exhausting. I've been in a tense state, so careful that I may not disappoint them. So conscious of my effort just to please them. But then I realized that's not the best approach. You won't gain any ounce of respect from these people if you bow down or be submissive on their ways. On the other hand, pushing and commanding people would not get you anywhere as well. Everything that is too much is not good. Best ways? I think need to adapt what Normal Dale of Hoosiers movie had done when he was employed as a new coach on a very conventional, closed-minded, basketball-lover people of Indiana. Here's some:

1. Have your own opinion and convictions. Be firm but polite and open. When others say yes, it doesn't mean you would follow through. Have your own stand and be firm with it.

2. State how you feel without apologizing, as long as this does not fringe on the rights of others. These people will be more aggressive when you state your feeling with an apologetic tone.

3. Ask for what you want, straightforward, without hesitation. And make it sound that you expect them to deliver it. Make it clear. One supervisor had said "when I say you should do this, please note that I really really would like you to start doing this...". That is clearly making a point.

4. Do not always worry the problem of others that won't directly affect your project's objective.

5. And the best one: choose how you will respond to a situation (someday, I would really love to blog something about this -- best ways to respond to a difficult situation).

Itemized pointers above were excerpts from the training discussion I attended today - Essentials of Supervision, I just expounded them.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails