Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Management Tip: Keep the goals clear and the reins loose

I was using the time-honored practice of "wait time" to see if anyone had a story of gratitude. And, apparently no one does. Or no one has a story to share. Or no one expresses gratitude at work the day after a long weekend.

I was reading in Psychology Today about how women are chemically addicted to semen (and I was simultaneously chortling), when I decided to actually look for work articles. I found at least one relevant article. How to Become Your Own Boss is a good primer on a fundamental management skills: setting clear agreed upon goals and letting people go about their business with the goal in mind:

How does a manager maintain the balance between effort, attention to excellence and consistent accountability—essential elements of a successful workplace—and workaholism, perfectionism and punishment, which work against workplace well-being ?

Basically by keeping the goals clear and the reins loose. That's the balance that gives an employee the greatest shot at self-management, while guaranteeing a boss the likelihood of achieving her objectives. It's what discipline in the workplace truly means.
For those who manage, it's easier said than done, of course.