Can a joker be taken seriously? Can a manager be friends with those they manage? Is it unprofessional for a manager to show their emotions in public. Should triumphs and disasters be meet with the same stoicism? Can a manager take too much pleasure in the success of their team?
A high profile manager was recently reported as believing they could be friends with team members and thinking work should be fun! It would be easy to dismiss this approach as part joker part cheerleader! If it wasn’t for the fact that this is a very successful manager.
Their style of management and leadership is the total opposite of the macho management that seems to go with a climate of austerity in the public sector.
This particular manager described themselves as sometimes a teacher, sometimes a friend and when the occasion requires it a dictator. Their management style is characterised by the ability to powerfully connect with people.
Managers like this have considerable insight into how there behaviour affects others. There know the people they manage as individuals not just employees. They understand the wants and needs of those around them. They recognise the feelings of others even when these feelings are not obvious. In stressful situations they remain calm and in control, don’t get upset when things don’t go to plan and they don’t look to blame others when things go wrong. And yet they are willing to show their emotions, they leave the team members in no doubt whether they are disappointed or pleased with their performance. They encourage, challenging and support. These are the soft skills of management that make some one a good people manager.
Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk