Author: Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Publisher: NB Publishing, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1857885613, 256 pages


Career expert and author Roberta Chinsky Matuson knows that to succeed you must get along with your boss and with those who report to you. Her book features a unique format: Start at the front of the book with the “Managing Up” cover, read the text that follows and learn how to manage your boss. Flip the book over, open the “Managing Down” cover and learn how to manage your team. Thus, the author provides two separate books with two separate covers within the same binding. Despite a few sloppy details here and there, getAbstract believes that Matuson’s book will help you become a better manager and advance your career.

“Managing down”

Managers are professionals, yet unlike doctors or even plumbers, there’s little training for the job. One day you’re a respected employee, the next day you’re managing people – without ever having managed or learning what to do. How do you begin? For a manager, relationships are everything. Use these seven techniques to build strong connections:

1.      “Trust me” – Without trust, you are a dead duck. You will have no influence over those who answer to you (your “direct reports”).

2.      “First impressions count” – Be open, welcoming and collaborative. Involve your group in team building.

3.      “Jump into the trenches” – Expect your early days to be like warfare with plenty of action and surprises. Leap into the fray, and learn who you have at your side.

4.      “Be respectful” – If you want respect, show your direct reports you hold them in high regard.

5.      “Flex your style of management” – You must adjust to those who report to you, not the other way around. Do not focus on “me” but on “we.”

6.      “Listen more, talk less” – Let everyone see that you value their input.

7.      “Help others shine” – Your superiors assess your performance on how well you inspire others. Recognize your team members’ contributions, reward them for jobs well done and show you appreciate them.

How to find the people you need

In most cases, you can train people to do what you want. Always hire job applicants according to their talent and how they will fit on your team, not according to their individual skills. Avoid these common recruitment errors:

·         “Failure to clearly define the role” – Create precise job descriptions for all open positions on your team.

·         “Failure to cast a wide net” – Interview as many applicants as possible.

·         “Refusal to pay recruitment fees” – Recruitment agencies perform a valuable service. Don’t haggle over fees, or they will offer you only the dregs of their talent.

·         “Hiring for skills rather than fit” – Recruit staffers whose personalities and work ethics align with your needs.

·         “Settling: hiring Mr. Right for right now” – No hurried, short-term fix will work out in the long term.

Direct Report Demographics

Be sensitive and aware in your dealings with all your employees, new hires and seasoned veterans alike. They will span four different generations with these likely traits:

1.      “Traditionalists” – Technology-averse senior employees.

2.      “Baby Boomers” – Highly competitive workers born between 1946 and 1964.

3.      “Gen Xers” – Staffers born between 1965 and 1981 hate meetings and working late.

4.      “Millennials” – Employees born after 1982 are comfortable with technology and are natural multitaskers.

Problem employees

Certain workers, whatever their age, will always be problematic. Even one negative employee can poison the team atmosphere. Confront such staffers with specific details concerning how their bad behavior damages your team and the organization. Similarly, directly confront employees who underperform…

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