This month’s question
One question a month to help you work on a single aspect of that complex and draining thing called management!
A particular management style isn’t effective in absolute terms: it either is or isn’t (!) depending on the context and the people you have to manage. A modus operandi that works in one situation may turn out to be catastrophic in another – that’s the idea behind situational management, a sophisticated model championed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard many years ago, but which is still valid today regardless of the circumstances or technology!
It’s your turn!
Peter is a work associate who has performed a variety of duties successfully in your department for the last three years. He presents you with a novel idea for improving sales development in your sector. Although Peter’s methods are sometimes unorthodox, he has always been both effective and helpful to coworkers. After a moment’s hesitation, you decide to let him pursue his idea.
A-Together with Peter, you establish written guidelines for his work on this particular project. You schedule progress and verification meetings that you will hold with him.
B-You make yourself available to provide any help or advice Peter might need.
C-You discuss the idea with Peter and ask him to briefly describe how he intends to proceed. After making a few adjustments, you approve his idea and schedule meetings to track his progress.
D-You tell Peter in detail how he should carry out his project. In particular, you have him meet two or three people from other departments who are in a position to help at critical stages, intervening only at the most decisive stages yourself.
The answer is B : The fact that Peter’s approach is unorthodox does not take anything away from his skill and willingness to help (variety of tasks handled, good relationships with coworkers), which also demonstrate his commitment. Although you will always be a bit wary of people who do not do things your way, you should continue to trust Peter. Give him a chance to succeed without your intervention this time, too. Be satisfied with intervening only when he decides he needs you. The privilege of having M4 work associates is that they know their limits (as well as their true abilities).
For more information, please feel free to request a copy of our practical factsheet: “How to adapt to any managerial situation”.
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