The First-time Manager, Loren B. Belker - Book Summary

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Have you just been promoted to a manager? Challenge is waiting for you! This handbook accompanies you, giving you confidence in your new assignment. Success will begin with you and your attitude towards this great responsibility.

Part I – Joining Managers

Chapter 1: How are people chosen to be managers?

Just because people succeed in their assigned work, doesn't mean they will become good leaders. Some people believe that if they want something to be done well, they must do it themselves, with such an attitude, they cannot become a good manager because they do not know how to assign tasks.

A leader is someone who guides others, who knows how to judge and make decisions that are respected by others because those are the right decisions. The more confident you are, the more quickly you will be able to decide on difficult problems. You need to be far-sighted, envisioning the results of your decisions. You have to know how to put aside emotional and personality issues and rely solely on facts.

The new manager is selected from a variety of sources, with a recommendation from the incumbent manager. You were chosen because people see you as a leader.

Chapter 2: The first few months

In your first weeks as a manager, some people will envy you, expecting you to fail. Others start flirting and flattering you. Others want to check on you right away. They will compare you to your predecessors, so you have to prove yourself, but don't change the company's operating methods unnecessarily because many people will criticize your actions as arrogant, insulting. predecessor.

Do not abuse power, consider power as a reserve and only use it when absolutely necessary. Use the art of "reducing words". Don't talk too much about yourself, listen to your employees, grasp their ambitions, genuinely care about them. You must treat everyone fairly. Never discuss your achievements or concerns about one employee with another.

Chapter 3: Building trust

Building trust is a very slow process. Trust is built on success. Be strong in giving employees what they can do, so that they build in them the habit of success starting with small successes right from the small things.

Never correct an employee in front of others; you have to show them the nature of the mistake, if any, so that they don't make it again. Make mistakes as normal and not as judgmental. Praise must be cautious, moderate, especially in front of a crowd.

Build trust by involving employees in decision-making so they feel freed and part of everyone's job, not your own.

Don't have a perfectionist attitude because there can be no perfection. Perfectionism is often not liked by everyone. It is important to involve employees in improving the way they work in a team spirit.

Chapter 4: Learning to listen

One of the secrets of successful management is the art of listening. Listening will help you know what's going on and you'll learn a lot. The more you talk, the easier it is to be bored by others.

You should encourage the other person to speak, and you should use sign language: look directly at the person who is talking; nod; smile; or buffer the sentences “Very good”; "And then?" etc… to show you are interested in the conversation.

However, when some of them linger too long in your room, because too much time is spent with unhelpful conversations, you can use a few tricks to end the conversation: prompt the receiver to pick up the phone. talk even though the phone doesn't ring (like on a phone appointment), or pick up a piece of paper from the desk and look at it from time to time (as if something the office mentioned); Turn your chair around as if you want to get up (this is too frank but sometimes necessary), or make it clear: “I enjoyed your story, but now I have to work and you probably do too.”

You have to use many skills in relation to others. But don't be too interested in being a character with a lot of people around.

Chapter 5: We, them and mine

They are your superiors. We are anyone on your level. Distinguishing them from us depends on how you think about the company and yourself.

As a manager you should avoid using the word them but must develop the concept that the only existence is us. The bad habit of using the phrases: my staff, my department, my assistant, my secretary should be avoided, because it speaks to the desire to possess or monopolize, to express one's ego. you, which other people feel disliked.

However, during the meeting, the president said: "How is spending in your department?", "How is your staff?" It is only for distinction, but not in the sense of ownership, not synonymous with ego.

Chapter 6: Change – From detail to coverage

“No change means death.” Often, people's mentality is against change. So you need to know what you have to do and what personality traits are required to make the changes that are sensible and pleasant.

As a manager, you do not do professional work but focus on overarching activities, this change leads to the development of comprehensive knowledge and the decline of specialized knowledge. You must resist the temptation to view your old job as a hobby. However, in times of "hot oil" when your employees rush to work for fear of missing the plan, you have to roll up your sleeves and roll in to help them during those difficult times.

Always keep a balance when approaching all management issues. Don't be so general that you forget the details that make up the big picture.

Chapter 7: Looking up and looking down

Communication within the company must be good at all levels. However, if you have to prioritize, it should be in the following order: 1. Your staff, 2. Your boss, 3. Your peers.

The better the employee's work, the more solid your position will be. So, you must really give full attention to the needs of your employees, making you and your employees jointly accountable for the company's goals. To ensure fair and reasonable division of work, create a working environment where they feel comfortable, your management will be more effective.

Being promoted to manager, you must first be grateful to your boss. New jobs and responsibilities require a different level of loyalty than before. However, the company's purpose must be justifiable and in line with ethical standards. In today's democratic way of working, blind loyalty cannot exist. If they cheat, they don't deserve your loyalty, don't do business with them.

Chapter 8: Unofficial Organizational Chart

Good managers are when they don't know how to do the job, but they know someone who can help them do it. It is because they know how to use informal organization charts.

This informal diagram emphasizes the importance of first-level management. Depending on how this level of management works, employees draw judgments about management policies. The future of the company will be first decided by employees and management.

This type of informal organization chart is never published, but most people know it to be the one that really works. As a new manager, you need to be familiar with this chart, as it will help you increase employee productivity and your own.

Chapter 9: Management style – Building a team of employees

The autocratic manager views himself as the boss rather than the employee manager; They consider flexibility synonymous with weakness. They force employees to follow orders, because explaining is time consuming and annoying.

Democratic managers spend a lot of time with employees, they consult employees, respect employees' opinions as part of the information that leads to their decisions.

Autocrats cause fear in employees. On the contrary, democrats create respect and esteem, so they always feel secure. The democrats built a dynamic, strong, united and loyal staff to the company. Autocrats will never build good staff because dictators will rarely feel secure.

Part II – The end of the honeymoon

Chapter 10: The Art of Praise

It's sad that many people do a great job without ever being praised by their superiors. Compliments are very important to them. As a manager, you should know how to praise your employees if they deserve it. Don't hesitate, because praise is worth a thousand times more than money.

Chapter 11: Change of staff

The basic character of a person never changes completely. You can only slightly modify their behavior and make them change the way they work, but you can't change their personality forever. What should be done is to expose the individual to an environment where his or her natural inclinations match the demands of the job.

To know the employee's personality, the manager must be democratic and the company can survey through the test. An effective department must have these characteristics linked together and properly promoted.

Some employees often get involved in personal problems (alcohol addiction, drug addiction, serious family problems, etc.) that affect their work. Never judge them, you only deal with work related problems. May direct them to a community employee assistance program. If they can't solve their personal problems, they will be fired.

If we want to make a change in our activities, we have to break it down into small elements and do it gradually, people will accept them more comfortably.

Chapter 12: People in the middle

A midget is someone who isn't bad enough to get fired, but isn't good enough to make you happy. This is due to poor recruitment, lack of training or incompetence. A mediocre employee who is allowed to stay for many years turns out to be the kind of person that should have been dealt with in the first year.

It is possible to transfer people halfway to work in another department, to do jobs that require a little higher ability, with the cooperation of other managers.

The middle man is a difficult thing for the manager to accept because you are not a witch.

Chapter 13: Employee Discipline

All employees you manage should be aware of the work standards set by the company. You have to have a way of knowing how they perform against the standard.

In order to build effective discipline, it is necessary to receive good feedback to know the work is not satisfactory as soon as possible so that it can be corrected in time. Never discipline employees in front of a crowd, never humiliate them even when firing them. Employees should understand that the problem is performance, not personal.

When there is a problem, you should have a conversation with the employee, not a monologue. Make sure employees understand that the work they do is unsatisfactory. But it's important to say this. Try to avoid misunderstanding. First of all, you must firmly refuse to accept the current situation, but give him a certain amount of time to solve the problem himself, but must show the employee how and to what extent is acceptable.

As a manager, you can minimize the impact of privacy on your work, without making others a victim of your own hardships. You have to keep yourself calm at all times to be able to think more clearly and solve problems better.

Chapter 14: Recruiting and training new employees

Candidates participating in recruitment often meet the factors of experience, professional ability and qualifications. But the most important factor is personality.

Take a look at candidate profiles before meeting them. Don't go right into the work, must create a sense of openness, the candidate will have a good impression on you and the company whether hired or not. You ask lots of questions to get a sense of the candidate's personality and encourage the candidate to ask you again. Through the answers and questions of the candidate you will have a lot of information about their personality.

After selecting the right person for the job, you should set up a meeting and talk with them so that the candidate can determine the working attitude before training them. Some companies provide training by creating a detailed workbook, or selecting a trainer. The coached and the coach hand over the work step by step steadily. You must get feedback on the quality of their work. Must let new employees know what the company expects from them. However, don't expect perfection, set an acceptable level of fouling.

Chapter 15: “Oh, my God! I can't fire anyone."

The firing of an employee can hurt both sides. It is not right to fire without notice, unless the employee is cheating or engaging in violent behavior. You should not act impulsively, follow emotions.

The most common case of layoffs is due to incompetent employees who do not meet company standards. Review the coaching work to adjust, or find out if there is a conflict between them and the coach. Only after it has been determined that the employee is not expected to improve is dismissal the appropriate course of action.

In case the company is merged or sold, the new company will change and reorganize, some employees will be laid off. Or the company downsizes operations, cuts employees. Understand that no one feels that firing is fair, even some people panic, miserable. Use whatever influence you may have in the company to help them; enough salary and regulations, creating conditions for them to find other jobs.

As a manager, you must be absolutely certain that the dismissal is justifiable, you must be completely objective, and do it in a prudent, tactful and humane manner.

Part III – Managers as moderators and consultants

Chapter 16: Secrets and Perceptions

The amount of information that needs to be kept secret in a business is relatively small. Everyone has a right to know what is going on that affects them. If there is something they do not know, they will conjecture, and the conjecture is wrong with reality, i.e. their reaction will be based on false assumptions, then your management position is built on the foundation is supported by rotten wooden columns. It's easier to let them know the problem in the first place than to try to get them to get it right later on.

Chapter 17: Your relationship with the HR department

Although people who work in HR (Human Resources) often think they are experts in recruiting employees. As a manager, you need to respond positively to HR's suggestions. Many companies allow the department manager to participate in the hiring process or select a suitable candidate from among the candidates selected by the human resources department, as you will be responsible for managing the new employee and the job is easy. successful.

In many companies, HR is responsible for coaching and training managers, they are also responsible for developing employee support programs, both in terms of promotion and promotion. At HR is also a place for employees to come to discuss issues that they do not want to talk about with their superiors.

Being valued in HR is a precious thing, so don't be a stranger in their territory.

Chapter 18: Loyalty between individuals to each other and to the organization

It is difficult to organize groups of employees to work together in the company if no one believes or is loyal to anyone. If you have an attitude of distrust you will become a skeptic. A skeptical manager is a tragedy.

You need to have a great deal of confidence not only in the organization but also in your leadership and subordinates. This means not criticizing your company in the community, not treating the people you manage badly. Disparaging comments will hit you, not the person you want to criticize.

Chapter 19: Job Description, Evaluation and Salary Agreement

The job description usually clearly states the nature of the job, the level of education, expertise, experience required to do the job well, the scope of responsibility for management and supervision. It also specifies short-term and long-term goals, details of working relationships, and to whom to report.

The employee may work with his or her supervisor to write this description for consistency and avoid conflicts later on. The management level is the person who knows the job well to evaluate it properly. In each category there is a sub-score indicating the level of excellence to failure. The evaluation sheet becomes part of the employee's personnel file. It is necessary to openly discuss with employees about their work performance, and at the same time skillfully review the elements in the evaluation sheet to highlight their strengths to promote and their weaknesses to overcome.

Job description, evaluation, and salary management work closely together. Evaluate ability and set salary in accordance with employee's efforts. Therefore, being a manager is to pay attention to fairness, prudence and honesty, not to let personal feelings interfere in this matter.

The thread that runs through the salary management process must be work efficiency. If you propose to raise employees' salaries because of seniority, large children, sick mother, financial difficulties, you are just a charity worker; shouldn't be! It is necessary to take the capacity of employees as the basis.

Chapter 20: Maybe it's not a matter of money

Sometimes employees ask for a raise, in fact the request is not always a money request, because the money problem is solved immediately, the financial problem is still there. It is possible that a strained relationship with a co-worker is the main source of the problem.

The problem of people is very diverse, you should not be surprised that you must know how to talk to employees to understand that issue.

Chapter 21: Is there such a thing as motivation?

There is only one type of motivation that has shown results: self-motivation. When you do the work you want, that motivation is the most sustainable.

An important responsibility of a manager is to change employees' feelings from "must do" to "want to do". You need to understand them, respect them as people, not machines that make products. Caring for and understanding employees is a sign of management strength.

Chapter 22: The Gap Between Generations

Conflict most often occurs between younger managers and older subordinates. The main reason is prejudice.

To fade prejudices, you must choose an approach that is easy and comfortable; should accept changes slowly, without haste. You don't have to know all the answers to all the questions asked, don't pretend to know everything. Don't make decisions right away that your task has to decide.

“Let me think and answer you later”, “do you have any suggestions?”, “what do you think we should do?”… If they suggest something good, you consult it, if not, do it yourself. decide later. They will see that you are mature, have enough grounds before making a decision, not impulsive. You care about their interests, everything you do makes a good impression. As a manager, you are a sales person, selling to your employees means that they are all lucky to have you.

Chapter 23: Help prepare for the big milestone – retirement

This is not about your own retirement, but about the people under you.

Those who can no longer be productive have to retire. People who reach a certain age must retire. In any case, they experience an unpleasant mood. In addition to your corporate responsibilities, your direct management role is also important. Because, their recollections of the company are strongly influenced by the last year's impression.

Although the human resources department is in charge of implementing the company's retirement regimes for employees, you must also master this regime to be ready to advise them, talk, discuss and listen to their concerns. employees about their plans for the end of their lives, helping them feel better.

On the other hand, you must not forget that you are faced with the problem of shortfall in personnel. The remaining employees should not be forced to take on the work of someone who is about to retire; should prepare to temporarily hire some part-time employees or have to reallocate responsibilities properly.

Part IV – Prepare and train yourself

Chapter 24: The role of a sense of discipline

People with a high sense of self-discipline do not procrastinate. Usually you like to do the interesting things first. But if you put off tasks you don't enjoy, the prospect of having to do this job lasts longer.

People with a high sense of organization and discipline will have moderation in everything. Have a diplomatic talent, know how to control, not impulsive. If you have a high sense of discipline, the more likely you are to become a democratic leader. In excitable situations, a sense of discipline must resist the temptation to speak impulsively. Practicing a sense of organization and discipline will be the foundation for you to handle difficult situations that everyone will encounter.

Chapter 25: “Am I doing well?”

If you think about success, you will seem successful, you will have more confidence, and the probability of success will be higher. To reinforce that confident attitude, it is necessary to gradually build up the small achievements that are the solid bricks for your larger successes. Be careful that the feeling of success turns into arrogance. You will probably make mistakes, but how you recognize and handle those mistakes is crucial to your growth. Be honest with yourself, know yourself, and try to act in harmony with your point of view. You should confess your weaknesses to yourself and find ways to overcome them.

People who have a cold attitude towards subordinates while being viewed by their superiors as "warm, sincere", in the long run will fail, because they are not righteous people.

When you become proficient at your job, you should find a successor, otherwise you will miss out on promotion opportunities.

You can be a good person, you need to let your superiors know about you in the most beneficial way. Get along well with the leaders you come into contact with. You have to be subtle, your efforts are less likely to be seen as bragging.

Doing good work and making the most of your benefits is one thing, but fooling someone into thinking you're doing a good job is another and will cause a lot of trouble. Words must go hand in hand with deeds.

Chapter 26: Organize your own time

Every morning, sitting at the table, you take out a list of things to do for the day in order of priority. Tasks that are completed cross a line, those that have not been completed, move to the next day's list. Jot down ideas that come to mind even when you wake up in the middle of the night. If you don't write down the idea, it will slip out of your memory.

Every day, you need to schedule some time for yourself to think and reflect, it's so important to your inner self.

Chapter 27: The Art of Writing

People who are not confident when writing are that they do not read much, do not have the pleasure of reading; They claim that watching television saves time than reading books, which does not stimulate your interest in writing.

You can improve your writing skills by using your imagination: writing to someone, you imagine that person reading your letter or talking to you. Writing notices for employees, you imagine during the break you talk to them about what you want to write. Writing a report to the director, you imagine he is an uncle, an uncle who loves you very much and begins to write…

You need to use correct spelling and grammar. It's not that difficult, a book of this kind is always there to help you.

Chapter 28: Phone

There's no reason why you can't call or answer the phone yourself. Only when you are not at the office, will an assistant or person in the office answer and record calls for you to know.

Try to make sure your voice over the phone is warm, friendly, and convincing. But don't be overly sweet as it will seem fake. Practicing the habit of smiling, expressing emotions when listening and speaking on the phone will help you improve your voice a lot.

Chapter 29: Spreading rumors

Rumors can spread quickly, you can rely on this habit to send and receive news. If you have a good relationship with your employees, they will tell you what's going on. In fact, some people even want to be the first to let you know. You can transmit messages this way.

Chapter 30: A sense of humor – A reliable friend

A sense of humor is valuable during stressful and busy times. It's good to have a good reputation, but it's not good to be the clown in the office. If you've never joked in the company, start slowly, or people will wonder.

There is no reason to deny yourself and be too strict in life.

Chapter 31: Managing, participating, and chairing meetings

An effective meeting must be scheduled and sent to members several days in advance.

New managers often give opinions on all issues, it doesn't have to be, just say a few mature thoughts, too quiet in the meeting is also not advisable, but consider the meeting place as a place to compete with each other. Managers at the same level are wrong.

One way of training to be a chairperson is to watch people who are bad chairmen drag on boring meetings.

If you join the council don't be too shy. You should stay calm, don't let anyone panic. Don't let anyone down, be tactful, courteous, don't be a dictator. Respect the minority opinion before deciding according to the majority opinion, be fair with all opinions, you will be respected by the council.

Chapter 32: Achieving Nobleness

High bar means style and elegance in a person's behavior shown through:

View people based on dignity rather than as tools of production. Do not be the center of attention, do not offend or disparage others. There are no bad actions such as sexual harassment, profanity. Don't make excuses for your mistakes. Do not harm others or engage in behavior aimed at bringing others down. Always set a good example and keep your words in line with your actions. You should understand, a warm and friendly smile is very valuable.

Chapter 33: The role of public speaking in your profession

Although you can avoid talking to the outside public, you cannot avoid the collective of your department, of your company. In an internal meeting, at a farewell dinner, an employee in your department retires… you definitely have to express your opinion.

Having a talent for public speaking, you have the conditions to convince others; There are opportunities for advancement and the opportunity to lead people. To develop this skill, you should attend speaking training courses in cultural clubs; organize clubs in the company to both learn and practice.

Having the ability to communicate is a huge advantage for you.

Chapter 34: Stress

New managers are often stressed, especially when faced with difficult situations. Since you're inexperienced, you feel something can be stressful, not the event itself.

To overcome, you must transform fear into enjoyment of the challenge of difficult situations. Don't panic but act impulsively, take several deep breaths and relax. Reduce the situation to two or three major manageable problems. Assign qualified employees or consult experienced employees. Think of yourself as an actor playing a wise, calm, and decisive leader. By that time you are no longer acting because you have become that person.

Chapter 35: All-rounder

Your career is important, but it's not your whole life. Must be a complete person. A person who only values ​​work will develop one-sidedly and will not be a good manager.

If you want to be a good manager, you must be interested in community activities, you will know about the community and your profession better. You consolidate knowledge, make good contacts and friendships, you become widely knowledgeable, you gain credibility and leadership plays a bigger role.

What happens in the world, in society also affects your company, so you need to read more (newspapers, magazines, literature books, science... ) to become knowledgeable and grasp people. get the times.