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Management-Challenges And Solutions

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Managers spend their days juggling projects, people, and problems. Good managers have learned how to balance them. They complete projects successfully and on time, guide and support their employees, maintain good relationships with customers, and solve problems quickly and decisively. Less effective managers often get bogged down and sidetracked. A good manager recognizes challenges and finds ways to solve them. Less effective managers may not even recognize the real challenges they face.

Challenge #1: Not Managing!

Believe it or not, many managers fail simply because they do not manage! A manager must plan, organize, communicate, negotiate, and lead people toward a common goal. Too often, some managers either do not understand these responsibilities or do not want them. Managers who fail to manage will lose control of situations, people, and their own professional careers.

For example, Susan is a "friend" to several of her employees. She lets them do what they want because she feels uncomfortable correcting their unprofessional behavior. Not surprisingly, the remaining employees resent her actions and have complained to her boss.

Susan is supposed to be a manager but she is not actually managing. Her first responsibility is to run her department efficiently. She must find a way to balance her personal relationships with her professional responsibilities.

Challenge #2: Not Communicating Effectively

Almost everything a manager does involves communication. He or she must communicate with employees, customers, other managers, and bosses about a variety of subjects. This communication includes verbal, non-verbal, and written efforts. If a manager is not communicating well in these areas, chances are, he or she is not a very effective manager.

Verbal communication is straightforward: it is the words you say (or do not say). Written communication is anything that involves writing including penmanship. Non-verbal communication is often the most important and the most overlooked. It includes body language, tone of voice, and appearance. Body language clearly communicates what you are thinking and feeling: when you roll your eyes or shrug your shoulders or frown, you are communicating negativity. If you say the right words but speak in a sarcastic tone of voice, you are sending a mixed message. And, if you are managing a staff and you dress in an inappropriate or unprofessional manner, your appearance will undermine your authority.

You must understand that people "hear" body language and tone of voice much louder than actual words. So, if you say one thing but your body language or voice sends conflicting signals, people will usually believe the message sent by body language or tone of voice.

For example, Jack rarely gives his employees feedback. He thinks they should know what to do in every situation. But, he gets angry when they make mistakes. Obviously, Jack is not communicating sometimes and communicating inappropriately other times. Managers must communicate early and often. Make it easy for employees to ask questions or obtain feedback. And most importantly, make sure your body language and tone of voice match your words.

Challenge #3: Failing to Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Most employees are not mind readers. They cannot be expected to meet goals if their manager does not create and communicate clear goals and expectations. Every employee should understand what is expected of them, what the company expects of their department, and why. This lack of clear direction directly affects managers: they will probably fail to meet their goals if their employees lag behind.

Managers should ensure that employees have understandable job descriptions and regular goals. They should hold review sessions with employees and chart progress toward these goals. Finally, managers should establish consequences for not meeting goals and rewards for meeting and exceeding expectations.




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