M1 QUESTION: Managerial Skills
Given what you’ve learned about management from the readings in this module, what managerial skills would you say are especially critical? Please reflect on your own experience in cases where managers you have known or perhaps worked with lacked such skills: What happened in these examples? What were the results? What difference did the absence of these skills make in those situations?
Student Entry: In my opinion, the most important managerial skills to me are interpersonal skills and conceptual skills. The job I honestly reflect on most of the bad experiences is the bank I worked at over a year ago. The manager that worked there did have interpersonal skills to an extent, she was your typical manager; always smiling and and probably lived by the “customer is right” slogan, they would do things that we could not do just so the customer would not get upset and risk losing them as an account from it even if the rules blatantly said no. The interpersonal skills she lacked is ultimately why I decided to leave the job was her lack of sensitivity and empathy for her employees. The bank I worked for merged with another local bank here 2 weeks into the month of September and I had just finished high school upon receiving this job so my father had booked me a flight to come see him in August and did not tell me until mid July, the manager knew my dad had lived in California and I had not seen him in over a year because of me being in high school and all it just never worked out. So I had asked her if I could have off Friday and Monday to go see him and told her the situation saying how he did not know about the merge and what not, I also had no planned training either so I figured it would be fine. I was wrong. She blatantly said to me “Does your father even have a job? Doesn't he know you can't just leave?” even though I gave her 4-6 weeks of notice so the answer was no. I honestly think if she was more empathic and sensitive to the situation and sat down and really thought to herself having off 2 days would not be the end of the world, if it was she could have easily said that it was a blackout period. Your employees want to trust you and be there for them, so I think all managers should have interpersonal skills when it comes to their employees. This also was not the first or last time interpersonal skills were absent in this manager as well.
M4 QUESTION: Leadership
Are there differences between a manager and a leader? What makes a good leader? Are people born as leaders? Are there traits that can be seen early in a person’s life that identify that person as a leader? Can someone without these traits go on to become a leader? Reflect upon a time when you worked with an effective leader? What made this person successful? Reflect upon a time when you worked with an ineffective leader? What made this person unsuccessful?
Student Entry: There are differences between a manager & a leader. Definition of Manager includes- a person who is responsible for managing people and controlling them in an organization, “Management is the process of assembling and using sets of resources in a goal-directed manner to accomplish tasks in an organization.” (Page 4) While a leader is nothing but the person who leads by example and influences people to follow him or her, “Leadership can also be seen in the actions of the first-line supervisor who inspires her subordinates to increase their attention to safety procedures to avoid production downtime.” (Page 206)
A good leader has key skills and competencies such as:
- Has a Vision
- Has a set of values or principles
- Values and trusts others
- Respects people and their different opinions
- Has high courage
- Leads by examples
- Motivates and empowers people
- Is resourceful to achieve objectives
Some leaders are born with these qualities while other develop these over a period of time. Leadership can often be situational. People demonstrate various leadership qualities in different scenarios as well. Few traits of leadership qualities can be seen in early phases of person’s life. They may start leading informal groups during early stages of their life. Someone may rise to the situation and go on to become a leader due to this situation. These cases fall into the category of situational leadership. Which means, people may not be born with leadership traits but can also rise leadership during situations. Leaders commonly display the traits mentioned above in various forms. It is close to impossible to be a leader without at least one of the leadership traits mentioned above. At one of my old jobs I had an issue that I needed help with and asked my manager for help and she explained it once, and I didn’t understand because it truly needed to be done visually, she then got upset and walked away and rudely said to ask someone else, in front of customers, never once was reprimanded, and I was also on the job for only a few months at that point. When you're a manager/leader you have to help others learn, if they don't it leaves more room for error, and negative feelings towards that person as well. Someone who sat in the office next to her saw how she reacted and came over and apologized for something someone else did and taught me how to do what I needed to be done, she never once huff or puffed about it and it took her no less than 10 minutes from her day doing what she was working on to help me. I think what made her successful was the fact she was courageous enough to go over the manager and help me because she was too impatient to help me learn something that would hardly put a dent into whatever she was working on.
M5 QUESTION: Groups and Teams
Reflect upon a situation in which you have been involved with a group. What were the structural characteristics of the group? What were some of its norms? Based on the textbook, would you characterize it as a group or a team, and why?
How might you use a previous group experience to help shape a successful experience with your current team in this class?
As a manager, if your workgroup is demonstrating considerable intragroup conflict, what would you do, and why?
Student Entry: I have been involved in many group projects and games as well. A lot of people when they're in a class for school and hear they have to be apart of a group project they're immediate thought is something negative like “Oh, great I'm sure I will have to do all the work.” or “I'm sure no one will participate” Most of the projects I have done lately we all have been able to work together and get all the assignments done on time and in a timely manner as well as the work contributed by the students were all really great. I found that setting specific students to parts on assignment and giving exact due dates have been extremely helpful just so it ensures everything is done in a timely manner and everyone has a chance to participate. As a manger, if my group is showing considerable conflict I would come in as a prospect to help determine what is going wrong with the group. The important part of dealing with group conflict would be to increase the ratio of substantive to relationship conflict. I would also encourage the group to be more open and allow the members of the group to know that they can express their different opinions on task methods and objectives. I would also get them to focus on the larger goals beyond the individual interests but rather as a whole group.
Reflect on what specific management principles you have learned from this course.
What competencies will you take away that will make you a more effective manager? What did you enjoy about this course? What would you share with a student who might be considering taking this course?
Student Entry: I think some things that I have learned from this course to be an effective manager is to make sure you have interpersonal skills, interpersonal skills are extremely important to have as they can be used to understand what can motivate an employee and how they can use their knowledge to achieve the best results, not only that but people with interpersonal skills are able to work collaboratively and able to communicate efficiently. Having this skill as a manager is important since you have a group of employees to rely on you for answers and assistance on an issue they were having or a project and to be able to have them come to you for that and relay the information in a timely manner is extremely important. It's important when being a manager in a company to make sure you set values and visions for the company and what you expect out of your employees but also that you're able to trust them as well. It's good to also have a conceptual thought process as this allows you to think creatively and work through abstract concepts and ideas which can bring up a lot of different things that the company may benefit from. I take online classes because I honestly have very limited time, I work Monday through Friday 9 to 5 so after work I’m usually exhausted and get limited school work done afterward so I did like how each module you had 2 weeks to complete. I also did like how each module was different in terms of discussions posts, the journals and then a written assignment. It's nice to have a mix of each thing being done and some you may skip a week as it can lessen the load of work (and stress!) overall I did enjoy the class with how it was set up for us. For any future students, my word is, honestly just do your work and make sure you read the textbook if you do whats expected out of you will do great in the class, if you don't do it then obviously the grades will show!
What did you enjoy about this course? What would you share with a student who might be considering taking this course?
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