When managers collide
Every business needs good managers, but good managers don’t always get along, so we suggest some solutions for when managers collide.
Disagreements are expected
Every business needs managers, good managers; Talented individuals who not only have the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job, but also have a belief in themselves and their company, and the ability to lead people.
A group of good managers working together as a team become a formidable collective force. But as in any other relationship there are bound to be disagreements that can become arguments and even disputes.
Disagreements are a healthy characteristic of business life. If everybody agreed all the time, new ideas would never be explored and the business would never improve.
But as business becomes more pressurised even the best managers can find a disagreement becoming an emotionally charged dispute.
Meetings end with dramatic exits, papers thrown, doors slammed. It all makes a good story for the office gossips. But my view is simple;
If, you walk out of a meeting throwing a tantrum, keep walking!
Asset to decision making?
Some senior managers see creating arguments amongst their teams as an effective way to ensure that the best decisions are made. It is an approach that many have tried.
It can work, if you know when to step in and prevent the door slamming exit. Most don’t know when, or have the courage though. So they end up creating an environment where people distrust one another and stop communicating. Employees take their lead from their managers and before long nobody is talking.
Creating a turnaround is difficult, if not impossible without changing many of the individuals involved. It will take time, and will invariably cost more money than you expect.
The best solution is prevention
Every manager owes it to themselves, their staff and their company to ensure that they work well with their management colleagues
Healthy disagreements do not need to become conflict, if managers follow a few simple rules.
Everybody deserves respect. It costs nothing to be polite, even if other people make it difficult.
Don’t criticise a fellow manager in front of your subordinates. It will influence their opinion of the other manager. If you can’t criticise somebody to their face, don’t criticise at all!
Don’t be intimidated
Some people are intimidating, but remember, you are a manager because of the value you add.
Know your facts and state your case politely and consistently. It is surprising how persuasive being calm can be, when all about you appear to be losing…..
Put the company first
Always think collectively. What will be best for the company? Not what is best for me? Ultimately as a manager, what is good for the company will be good for you.
Given honest feedback
Don’t waste time criticising things people can’t change. But don’t be too tolerant either. If a colleague annoys you tell them, privately and constructively. Don’t dwell on problems.
Don’t hide problems
If you discover a problem that will adversely affect your colleague, tell them, and help them to resolve it. Not only will you prevent a problem for the company, they will owe you a favour.
Communicate important news quickly
Get everybody singing from the same hymn sheet quickly. Regardless of whether the news is good or bad, tell your colleagues. The sooner they know, the quicker you will all be able to work together to find a solution.
It’s true you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. Being too close to the people you work with can make communication of bad news difficult.
Being friendly without being friends, means being polite and showing respect.
Nobody likes a complainer
If you don’t like a proposal made by one of your colleagues, don’t criticise it, ask questions about it. Don’t say ‘that will never work’ ask; ‘What have you identified as the changes we will need to introduce to make that idea a success?’
Manage your anger
Losing your temper in front of your colleagues will achieve little other than proving that you can’t control your emotions. More importantly it indicates that is how you make decisions rather than considering the facts.
If you find controlling your anger difficult, get help.
Look for strengths in other people
Every member of a management team has been appointed because of their special expertise. Understanding how other people add value to your team will help you to deal with the times when they appear to be adding nothing of value.
Acknowledge your own weaknesses
Have you ever tried to identify how you annoy other people? What they see as your weaknesses? Do you have the confidence to ask? Do you have the courage to listen?
Remember effective corporate leadership is about working together. Thinking and acting as a team, not about individual