Management: At some point in our professional lives, most of us will manage, or will be managed by, someone. How can we best regulate and maintain the employee-manager relationship, from either side? Start by recognizing your leadership style, and the styles of those around you. Look at how personalities mesh and know that it takes time to form bonds and turn group work into teamwork, and teamwork into collaboration.
It’s important that everyone in an organization feels empowered to do their job well, and knows they have an advocate for them in times of crisis. Who advocates for you? Do they have an advocate? Are you an advocate for someone? Can you be?
But eventually there are inevitable truths: disagreements are bound to happen. Maybe there’s an argument or a misunderstanding, or even blame or accusations for a problem. How can we approach conflict fairly? How can we come away from it clean and wiser? And, if it comes down to it, what is the appropriate way to walk away or tell someone they’re fired? These are big questions that have lots of answers. See sections Conflict, Staff Retention, and Termination to dive deeper.
SKIM IT: The Dos and Don’ts of Management:
- DO be mindful of your personal strengths, weaknesses, and habits.
- DO be honest. Be genuine. Be credible. Learn how to have discussions and give feedback without sugar-coating or criticizing.
- DO lead by example. No matter your position in an organization, act the way you expect others to act.
- DON’T feel like you need to have all the answers all the time. It’s okay to say “let me get back to you on that” – as long as you mean it.
- DON’T be a jerk!
- Gallup Q12 Questions to Gauge Employee Engagement: Developed as part of the Gallup poll to measure the health of an organization thru employee engagement.
- Barriers to Effective Feedback by Leah Cooper: Handout with exercises for discussion on some common barriers including gossip, skills, social threat, and Minnesota nice. DIY Activity.
- Why I Hate the Sandwich Technique for Delivering Feedback by Arthur Petty: Short blog against the sandwich, with alternative suggestions. Easy on the mayo.
- How to Foster Employee Trust and Growth Through Constructive Feedback: by Ekaterina Walter: An article on feedback techniques.
- Give it to me Straight (Effective Feedback) by Ed Batista: A thorough article on developing feedback techniques in groups.
- 101 Questions to Ask in One on Ones by Jason Evanish: Questions to deepen your understanding and effectiveness, broken down by categories.
- Sample Employee Performance Review Form: Adapted from the University of Vermont’s Employee Appraisal Form, this DIY sheet should get you started reviewing you or your employees performance.
- Shifting from Group to Team from ArtsLab: a powerpoint presentation on identifying and enhancing collaborative methods.
- Team Development Wheel from ArtsLab: a one-pager of the stages of team development from forming, storming, norming, to performing. It rhymes!
- Four Signs Your Team Needs You More Involved by Alison Green: A short article on the other side of micromanagement – absent management.
- A Managerial Laundry List collectively created by Nicki Pretzer, Peter Heeringa, and Andi Cheney for PAHRTS. Starts with the basic “what is management anyway” and travels through coaching, feedback, and performance reviews.
- Managing: Getting Into, and Out of, the Way by Phil Weaver-Stoesz: A HowlRound blog on management tactics – bonus cartoons!
- More leadership articles from Changing Minds including “Seagull Management (Flying in, pooping on you and flying off again)” and “Mushroom Management (Drop them in poo and keep them in the dark).”
- Star Wars: Lessons for Management from Cornerstone Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively and Living Well. A fun (and large) infographic drawing lessons from Star Wars to influence how you think about management.
Resources for Further Inquiry:
- Your Peers Speak on Management compiled by Rachel Brown. Hear it from your peers in the Twin Cities performing arts community.
- 2015 Stage Management Survey from SMSurvey.info. An annual survey to identify trends amongst US Stage Managers in demographics, work styles, and reasons for leaving the profession.
- Tips for Recruiting and Managing Older Volunteers by Leah Kerkman for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Covers recruiting retirees, encouraging commitment, and managing limitations of older volunteers.
- Managing Volunteers: Challenges of Non-Profit Organizations by Jessica Miller-Merrell for Blogging4Jobs. Discusses methods for clarifying roles and ensuring a good fit for volunteers.
- Volunteer Management Toolkit by Volunteering Victoria. A complete toolkit developed by a Canadian NGO covering preparation, recruitment, policies & procedures, organization, appreciation, development, and communication for volunteers.
- Boundaries Guidelines by Fair Play MN. A guide to discussing personal and group boundaries. Created with improv groups in mind, but having many applications in other settings.
- External Links:
- First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman: A book for further reading on proof of the linkage between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and the rate of turnover.
- Idealist.org contains specific information for volunteer recruitment and management.
- Minnesota Administration for Volunteer Administration (MAVA), an organization dedicated to contributing to research and data, as well as best practices for volunteer involvement.
- MAP for Nonprofits
- Shannon Leadership Institute
- Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts
- Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
- Korn Ferry Hay Group: generally for very, very big clients, but they have a lot of resources for developing interpersonal savvy, assessing individual and organizational performance, and coaching managers.
- For more learning opportunities in higher education, refer to:
- University of Minnesota – Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership
- University of Minnesota – Certificate in Nonprofit Management
- University of Minnesota – Public and Nonprofit Management
- University of St. Thomas – Institute for Executive Director Leadership
- St. Mary’s University – Arts & Cultural Management
- St. Cate’s University – Business Management
- St. Cate’s University – Business Administration
- St. Cate’s University – Organizational Leadership
- Hamline University – Masters of Nonprofit Management