Walk into Better Management
While many are focused on better using technology to achieve mission goals, Federal managers shouldn’t forget that sometimes the best way to know what’s really going on is to get out of the corner office and talk to people. In my upcoming book, 98 Opportunities to Improve Management in Government, I recommend management by walking around:
I highly recommend that you manage by walking around. Such an approach will increase your visibility and give the employees greater confidence in you—if for no other reason than if they see you every day, they will become more comfortable with you and conclude you are truly interested in learning what is going on.
Moreover, walking around is a great way to gain understanding of what is happening under the surface. If you stay in your ivory tower every day, you can always find a reason to convince yourself that things are going great. However, if you walk around, you will learn to read your employees’ body language, which is an excellent way of gauging the real situation.
For example, if employees do not want to look you in the eye, that is probably a good indicator that something is not right. Moreover, you will also see if people are working together or are disengaged.
Finally, if you regularly interact with employees on a casual basis, they will be more willing to share information with you and tell you what is really happening. Such information is absolutely crucial in nipping problems in the bud.
Excerpted with permission from 98 Opportunities to Improve Government Management by Stewart Liff. © 2014 Stewart Liff & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. www.managementconcepts.com.