Eighteen years ago, all organizations follow a hierarchical structure. All information comes from top to bottom. If an employee from a lower tier has something to submit or propose, his/her request will have to be checked and approved my numerous leaders before it can actually reach the hands of the upper management.
That is how companies used to work back in the day. As a result, managers and supervisors from a company with a hierarchical structure are conditioned to exert authority. They are used to implementing ‘one-size fits all’ policies and to giving orders without receiving objections.
Fast forward to the 21st century-companies have started to realize the pitfalls of a hierarchical structure. The traditional setup cannot keep up with the speed of change. While a lot of organizations have adopted a more flexible organizational structure, many others fail to adjust their management style.
But what exactly does the modern era ask of today’s leaders? Here we define the three people handling skills that every modern manager must possess:
The ability to actively listen
Pramod Chandrayan, founder and CEO of Mobibit Web Development Company, claimed that active listening is an ability that everyone must have, regardless of position or industry. However, she emphasized that managers need it the most as they stand between rank-and-file employees and the top management. Chandrayan explained that listening is essential so managers can make objective decisions based on context and future implications.
Web development expert Jordan Lore supported this claim by saying that it is important for companies to build a culture where everyone gets to be heard. He warned, however, that listening shouldn’t be limited to feedback forms and suggestion boxes. Face-to-face communication is highly encouraged because it facilitates immediate feedback.
The ability to empathize
Human resources coach Liz Ryan claimed that empathy is not a skill that managers can easily develop unless they actually try to pause and see things the way their customers and colleagues do. Chandrayan emphasized that people who lack empathy may shine and succeed individually but they are likely to fail in leading other people or working in a group.
Empathy is specially needed in the modern workforce as three generations of professionals are now in the workplace. Each of these generations have different needs and approaches so one management style might not do the trick. A good manager is expected to see from the point of view of his/her subordinates to be able to manage them well.
The ability to empower
“Micromanagement is a manager’s kryptonite,” says marketing expert Jordan Lore. A great manager, according to Lore, opens the path for his/her subordinates to succeed on their own instead of blocking this path.
Empowerment provides growth and professional development. It is the best follow-up to formal trainings. Once this growth takes place, it is suggested to sustain it by giving rewards and recognition.
The skills included in the list are all about building personal connections with people. Liz Ryan explained that the key to employee engagement and retention is to build connections with your staff. She added that it is important for employees to know that they have managers who are willing to guide them all the way. So if you want to create a genuine connection with your people, start by practicing the three skills mentioned above.
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