Victor Leung
Victor Leung
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Take charge and lead

July 01, 2021

I'm now a manager, in charge of and directing a small group of team. To function well in our job, we need a variety of talents, including technical knowledge, emotional intelligence, and negotiating. At both my organization and my client, there are many employees with different cultures and time zones. It's critical to be able to strike a balance between work and relationships.

I had the imposter syndrome at times since there were so many talented people on the team to manage. However, I recognize the importance of having a growth mindset, understanding that I can learn and improve. It is the strength and ability of our team and our belief to improve together over time.

For instance, I am terrified of public speaking. When a large group of people is present, it is more difficult to speak out and express my concerns. Later, after speaking with a colleague, I realize I am not alone, as many people share my concern, despite our open feedback culture.

So, even though giving feedback can be tough in some instances, I began practising and learning how. It's a matter of willpower and talents, and it's important for the team and me to communicate so that we can all enhance our work quality.

I might use the Situation, Behavior, and Impact (SBI) framework. I could learn how to provide constructive feedback to help that person and the team improve. Instead of accusing and attacking people personally, we should build trust and create room to solve difficulties.

As a manager, we have numerous challenges; the most important is that we cannot change people who refuse to change. Instead, we listen to them carefully and understand their feeling. We use leading questions to elicit other perspectives and offer personal stories as examples. As a result, we could be better managers and have a beneficial impact.

We need to motivate people to overcome problems and barriers from individual contributors to better management. Coaching and supporting the team during the transition could be used to encourage them.

My team and I can create a synergistic culture by offering mutual support and providing timely feedback. We can balance positive (motivational) and negative (developmental) comments. This balance allows us to identify the members' strengths and shortcomings, adapting the coaching to each individual.

Coaching is the process of maximizing a person's performance by unlocking their potential. Rather than instructing them, it assists them in learning. We could help and nurture our members to help them grow in the long run by being present and focused on the coach, being aware of the coach's perspective, practising empathic listening, and asking open questions.

The GROW framework is useful in coaching, which stands for:

  • The Goal you want
  • The Reality of Today
  • The Action
  • and the Options

The desire to take certain actions - For example, I have a coach helping me improve public speaking skills, and I might set objective, quantifiable goals to help me improve. As a manager, we must make difficult decisions that affect the company's and people' interests. We need to synthesize others' perspectives and test my comprehension of others' problems while listening to everyone.

We will use this decision-making framework: What - what are you trying to achieve, and are the goals apparent to everyone? Why is this relevant to everyone? Who makes the decisions – who is the decision-maker? When will the decision be made - when will the decision be made? How — how is the choice made? For example, is it based on consensus?

All leaders face additional obstacles in decision-making, such as unconscious biases and emotional triggers. However, bias influence the quality of decisions. Confirmation bias occurs when people choose the information that confirms their pre-existing attitudes and views. The propensity to judge the relative importance of topics based on how quickly they can recall from memory is known as availability bias. The anchoring effect is the belief that a reference point influenced me. To prevent these prejudices, we'd need to be aware of them.

It's also important to be conscious of everyone's feelings, such as when they're threatened or embarrassed, which might cause a stress reaction. Then comes the defensiveness, which is followed by posturing or face-saving. We should think of ourselves as team players.

In addition, to improve our management skills, we may use the RACI framework, which stands for "Who is Responsible?" who is Accountable for what? who do I Consult? and who is Informed. This framework aids in stating the decision-making approach early in the discussion. It also provides a nice structure for the team, balancing the requirement for speed with the need for buy-in. The time it takes to get buy-in speeds up the implementation process.

Overall, a good people manager is a competent coach who empowers their team, does not micromanage, and fosters a positive team culture. A bad manager would drive the team down, demotivating and frustrating everyone. I've worked for a lousy boss before, so I understand how damaging it can be, especially people who are the most valuable assets to a company's success.

Now that I am a manager, I have to continuously remind myself not to be a jerk who can't communicate. Instead, we'd need a positive mindset to believe in ourselves and improve our management skills. This goal is important not only to ourselves but also to our team and the organization. Overall, we spend most of our time working, and we need to foster a positive work environment.

About Victor Leung

Software development professional with expertise in application architecture, cloud solutions deployment, and financial products development. Possess a Master's degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. Highly skilled in AWS (Certified Solutions Architect Professional, Developer and SysOps Administrator), GCP (Professional Cloud Architect), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes(CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA), and Scrum(PSM, PSPO) methodologies.

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