Managers can be notoriously isolated.
The role of manager is usually someplace between the team they lead and the powers that be in the organizational hierarchy.
This makes managers pretty self-sufficient, yet there’s power in the workplace relationships they build.
As we progress to management, we are able to develop skills that enable us to take on the role.
Through experiences and training; through coaching and mentoring; through the networks of colleagues and experts we encourage and build, we are able to generate the skills and know-how to do the job of management.
Once in the role, it is easy for others to see us as an incredible resource, which builds our own confidence in ourselves, such that we find answers to the questions that many answer and problem-solve for our people.
This makes us feel good! It’s natural and when we’re good at it, we enjoy this part of our role, because we feel fulfilled with our abilities.
As we progress, the teams we lead are bigger and have a bigger job to do, so our input can be stretched ever more, with each promotion we take on. It is easy in this growth of role to mean there are expectations of many more people to focus on us.
This is not sustainable, because you cannot do it alone.
When you are good with people, you foster great relationships with your employees as you progress. Your first management offers you great opportunities to work intimately with those who are in your team.
In such situations, you can build your abilities in communication, intuition, performance management and many more of the management skills that will be so vital for you in the years to come.
When you’re smart, it’s here that you start to understand, when you are open to it, how you can leverage the interaction with others, sometimes with your team as a whole. More often, by utilizing the great relationships you have built with each individual employee, to get their input too.
Imagine a conversation when you have a tricky decision that you need to make.
When you’ve invested a bit of time with your people to help them feel comfortable contributing openly when they work with you – their manager – the richness of the debate will be stronger and much more valuable.
Ideas will flow from them as well as you, synergizing thinking to create the outstanding solutions.
Once you can have this quality of debate with individuals, you can extract even more with whole-team debates too, magnifying the value of the wonderful workplace relationships you’ve already got in place.
There is much more power in ‘more than one’, particularly when you’ve done your groundwork and prepared your interactions with others, one-by-one, by creating business relationships that are ripe for reaping the reward.