Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Common Management Problems - issues of communication and trust

In an earlier post, I spoke of the role that communications and trust played in providing a framework that would encourage passion.

Communications, because without this errors occur, fears build up. Trust, because this encourages people to go that extra mile. The two are linked in that poor communication is nearly always associated with reduced trust.

I was reminded of this recently because I saw a simple case where the two factors came into play.

The facts are simple enough. A staff member applied for an internal promotion. The committee decided not to interview her. No one let her know. She found out because she asked another candidate had he heard anything about interviews, only to find out that interviews were being held that afternoon.

The candidate in question was mortified because she had not been told, more so because her colleague immediately realised that she had not been selected for interview.

This type of simple example occurs fairly often. In this case there was no ill intent. The person who should have told her simply got swamped. Yet the damage that was done will be permanent.

My point in all this is that in managing your people you must be straight with them, sensitive to their feelings. This includes passing on bad news. If you are straight and communicate properly, then you will find that your people will not only do better, but will also cut you some slack, forgiving you for mistakes that you are bound to make.

Previous posts in this series are:

November 20 2006: Common Management Problems - the isolation of being boss

November 23 2006: Common Management Problems - the overenthusiastic boss

March 12 2007: Common Management Problems - managing up

March 18, 2007: Common Management Problems - dealing with poor performers

March 27, 2007: Praise from Martin Hoffman for the Common Management Problems SeriesA

April 6, 2007: April 6, 2007: Common Management Problems - dealing with poor performers 2

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