Text 2. How to be a great manager?
Task 1. Read the text and decide which of the following comments you would expect the writer to agree with. Use the text to support your answers:
Successful managers …
1. are happy when their staff make progress in the company.
2. try to be positive even when times are difficult.
3. tell head office if any of their staff make mistakes.
4. praise their staff as often as they can.
5. encourage employees to speak out if they are unhappy.
6. make sure they know what’s going on outside their company.
7. keep in touch with their staff and customers.
8. never dislike any member of their staff.
9. concentrate on their employees’ strong points and try to correct their weak ones.
10. ignore people’s weak points, pretending they don’t exist.
11. enjoy new challenges.
12. don’t find it easy to delegate responsibility.
At the most general level, successful managers tend to have four characteristics:
They take enormous pleasure and pride in the growth of their people;
They are basically cheerful optimists – someone has to keep up morale when setbacks occur;
They don’t promise more then they can deliver;
When they move on from a job, they always leave the situation a little better than it was when they arrived.
The following is a list of some essential tasks at which a manager must excel to be truly effective.
Great managers accept blame: When the big wheel from head office visits and expresses displeasure, the great manager immediately accepts full responsibility. In everyday working life, the best managers are constantly aware that they selected and should have developed their people. Errors made by team members are in very real sense their responsibility.
Great managers give praise: Praise is probably the most under-used management tool. Great managers are forever trying to catch their people doing something right, and congratulating them on it. And when praise comes from outside, they make it clear who has earned it. Managers who regularly give praise are in a much stronger position to criticize or reprimand poor performance. If you simply comment when you are dissatisfied with performance, it is all too common for your words to be taken as a straightforward expression of personal dislike.
Great managers make blue sky: Very few people are comfortable with the idea that they will be doing exactly what they are doing today in 10 years’ time. Great managers anticipate people’s dissatisfaction.
Great managers put themselves about: Most managers now accept the need to find out not merely what their team is thinking , but what the rest of the world, including their customers, is saying.
Great managers judge on merit: It’s virtually impossible to divorce your feelings about someone - whether you like or dislike them – from how you view their actions. But suspicions of discrimination or favouritism are fatal to the smooth running of any team, so the great manager accepts this as an aspect of the game that really needs to be worked on.
Great managers exploit strengths, not weaknesses, in themselves and in their people: Weak managers feel threatened by other people’s strengths. Great managers have no truck with this destructive thinking. They see strengths, in themselves as well as in other people, as things to be built on, and weaknesses as something to be accommodated, worked around and, if possible, eliminated.
Great managers make things happen: The old-fashioned approach to management was rather like the old-fashioned approach to child-rearing: “Go and see what the children are doing and tell them to stop it”. Great managers have confidence that their people will be working in their interests and do everything they can to create an environment in which people feel free to express themselves.
Great managers make themselves redundant: What great managers do is learn new skills and acquire new information from the outside world and then immediately pass them on. Great managers are perpetually on the look-out for high-level activities to occupy their own time, while constantly passing on tasks that they have already mastered.
Task 2. Write a brief profile of yourself, outlining your personal qualities and highlighting any strengths and weaknesses you feel you have. Then write a brief profile of your partner. Use the list of personal qualities to help you. Then compare the profiles and discuss any differences between them with your partner:
confident caring arrogant nosy
enterprising prudent opportunistic indecisive
humorous focused frivolous tunnel-visioned
ambitious punctual ruthless interfering
helpful supportive controlling irresponsible
forceful generous boastful unreliable
competitive initiative wishy-washy tough
open to change accurate obsessive shallow
thorough tolerant uncaring selfish
Task 3. The following pair of words are frequently confused. Choose the correct word to complete each sentence:
1. A good manager will _________that his staff have an opportunity to express their opinions.
2. In my opinion, the demand for this product is still largely_________.
3. The new machine is very _________ – it is quick, clean and very economical to run.
4. The_________ of the story is that if you must dismiss someone, you had better do it quickly.
5. Our new advertisements have come in for a lot of_________ – many people consider they are in poor taste.
6. I was _________ with the service I received at the restaurant.
7. I _________ you that everything will be all right.
8. A _________is a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances, or the like, especially for a newspaper or magazine.
9. There are many barriers to _________ teamwork.
10. The _________ of the staff depends largely on the values of the company.
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