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Are your communications on target when it comes to management?

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As a first-time manager, I’m always looking for advice on how to get the most of out my relationships with colleagues. In college I took plenty of PR classes, but somehow missed my university’s offerings on management so my current tools consist of what I’ve learned from both good and bad managers, advice from mentors and what I can find from books and blogs.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about facilitating dialogue and asking the right questions. In my weekly meetings with my junior colleague we spend a fair amount of time going through current workload, client problems, etc., but not enough time on how things at the agency are functioning or what I could be doing to be a better manager. After reading this blog at Harvard Business Review I realized that I need to be asking different questions.

It was relieving for me to think that we can have a constant dialogue about how well I’m doing as a manager and things I could be doing better because I know how difficult it is to get that feedback during review time (everyone’s least favorite management function).

Another tool that I’ve been using is this updated SWOT analysis from Deon Binneman’s blog on reputation management. Asking questions during one-on-one meetings has improved my relationship with my colleague and also made me feel more comfortable in my role as a manager – knowing that there is a two-way communications channel in place alleviates a lot of anxiety.

What kids of questions are you asking your colleagues?

Blog post by Maria Heim. You can find her on Twitter @mariaheim

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