Like many other, even being a manager in technology is a role that takes a lot of experience and mistakes to learn the best ways and practices. However, while trial and error method can be the best teacher for all mistakes, the time taken to understand the mistakes by a manager can hamper the clients’ quality time as well as money.
Being a manager can seem a relatively easy task yet takes a lot of the new managers by surprise. Managers have been known to fail time after time, ending up asking the question about what they are potentially doing wrong.
No wonder that even though trial and error can be extremely helpful in realizing and rectifying mistakes, a little extra help can do no hard. Seeing the people in my first organization ever, struggle with the simplest things such as writing an email triggered me to find out more about how managers feel the overwhelm where they end up not knowing how to approach situations. Sitting behind screens and solving technical problems are their fortes. There is no doubt about that. While dealing with and leading people can be an entirely different story.
- Train for what you don’t know.
Many a leadership teams now have the resources as well as the potential to build learning and development teams so as to provide the trainings that their employees might need to bridge the gap between where they are and the role they are required to fulfil.
Among these trainings, can be your initiative to make yourself learn more about what you don’t already know. Training can be the easiest way to learn something. While people with jobs hesitate in taking up new courses and trainings, being able to train during the work hours is a wonderful solution which almost all major corporations now invest in.
They understand that a few hours of training provided to their employees can result in reduced mistakes and better understanding, benefitting the organization in the long run.
That is most precisely where your role is to realize that you lack a skill and must be willing to learn. While your organization can very well provide the resources for you to do so, showing up to learn something is on you.
- Keep your team prior to the organization.
Even though the opposite is exactly what your organization needs you to, the question to be wondered upon here is what the big picture is. The big picture remains to achieve the goals of the organization.
If given a task, your company and leadership would be less than bothered about how the goals have been achieved.
That being said, your team shall only understand that once they feel valued by you. Feeling valued by the organization is a translation of by far being valued by you itself.
Once your team feels that you value them, you understand their goals and personal requirements and are willing to go the distance to help them achieve those, their dedication changes from their personal goals to those of yours.
The managers’ task is basically to align their own interests with that of the organization since the team members who are dedicated to their managers will then automatically work towards achieving the goals of the organization.
- You are a servant for both parties.
Even though being a manager brings power, well, so does responsibility. Being a manager is a step-up when looked at with the perspective of designation. While considering the responsibilities, it makes a manager a servant to both parties: their team as well as the organization.
No surprise to the fact that the organization already had you working for them as per what they needed, but now you are in fact responsible for what your team needs as well.
Simply meeting the goals and achieving the targets is not enough anymore. No matter the number of people on your team, each of them needs to be valued, understood and given the chances and the work environment that they personally feel comfortable in.
Imagine having to adhere to ten different kinds of mindsets and evolving the situation for each one of them separately. Well, that is exactly what it is like to be a manager.
- Communication and transparency are key.
One might think that this ends up being generic to all kinds of managers. The specification here as to what a technical manager can do, is about the work-related communication.
While as human beings, all of us are looking for the same things as acceptance and appreciation, as technical managers, the communication matters more.
Technical personnel are rarely known to open up and take the initiative to ask for the things they want. The lack of communication between a manager and their team members leads to distancing from the organization amongst mindsets therefore decreasing the chances of the organization at success.
Being communicative and transparent about the events of the organization and the mindset of the manager themselves, can help the team understand the inner workings of the organization. It also helps them create a relatability with the manager. As humans, feeling relatable is a form of acceptance to us. This creates respect towards the manager and colludes the personal as well as professional goals.
- Connect with you team members.
Connecting doesn’t merely mean to align your interests with theirs. Connects are utterly crucial when we talk about understanding the needs of your team.
Often times, while being stuck in a loop to deliver the release that one might be working on, managers can tend to forget what their team members need.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to realise and remember each of your team members’ requirements. However, the way to make them feel valued can be to remember to connect with them regularly.
Meeting one-on-one with your team members gives them the opportunity to open up more and express the thoughts that usually are held back in team connects.
Both being equally important, managers should ensure that they show up for team connects as well as one-on-one connects consecutively.
I personally feel that being a manager with a technical background is a blessing. Being able to understand the job of your team members is the first step to build a connection with them. Make sure you understand their needs and find a way to fulfil those too.