By Elisabeth Goodman, 28th June 2018
A manager’s responsibilities involve balancing the individual, the team and the task
A manager’s responsibilities cover so much more than just getting the job done! For scientists, information professionals and others who are new to management, this can be one of the most daunting aspects of making that transition.
As John Adair’s Action-Centred Leadership model so aptly demonstrates, a manager’s responsibilities involve giving the right attention, and finding the right balance between getting the job done, and the people aspects of their role.
I remember one of my own managers telling me that as much as 80% of what we managers need to do is about the people, and only 20% is about the task! If we don’t look after the individuals in our teams, and the dynamics between them, then we will never be able to get the task done.
That can be very daunting for scientists, information professionals and others who have up till now focused on their technical expertise and on executing their tasks as proficiently as they can. It is certainly something that I remember very well from my early days as a manager!
developing the individual
“People are messy” and there are no set ways for how we manage them. As new managers, we will find ourselves focusing more on understanding the individuals for whom we are responsible:
- what motivates them
- how to provide constructive feedback
- working out what authority we actually have – especially if we are managing people who were recently our peers
- how to delegate
- how to generally help those who report to us be the best that they can be
Building the team
And, as new managers, we will be grappling with how to ensure that the members of our teams are working well together:
- making good use of their diverse strengths
- being productive, innovative, continuously improving the quality of their work
- and how to deal with the conflicts that will almost inevitably arise
resources for the new manager
Luckily there are lots of resources available to those making the transition to a new management role. We can learn from books, online resources, talking to and observing others, and reflecting on our own experiences of managers we have known. And there are courses available too…
This blog is the first of a series that will be covering all the different modules of RiverRhee’s management courses, in the run down to our next courses in September 2018.
Keep an eye on RiverRhee’s website for details of our upcoming courses for managers and teams.
About the author. Elisabeth Goodman is the Owner and Principal Consultant at RiverRhee Consulting., a consultancy that specialises in “creating exceptional managers and teams”, with a focus on the Life Sciences. (We support our clients through courses, workshops and personal one-to-one coaching.) Elisabeth founded RiverRhee Consulting in 2009, and prior to that had 25+ years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry in line management and internal training and consultancy roles supporting Information Management and other business teams on a global basis. RiverRhee is a support supplier for One Nucleus and a CPD provider for CILIP (Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals). Elisabeth is accredited in Change Management, in Lean Sigma, in Belbin Team Roles, MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and is an NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) Practitioner. She is a member of CILIP and of APM (Association for Project Management) in which she was a founding member of the Enabling Change SIG.