ELS 66300 – Period 1, 2018
Assignment 8: Becoming a Manager
Student name: Andreas Tsirantonakis
Student number: 940316843050
Teacher’s name: Michiel Hupkes
Table of contents
View and ambitions on management……………………….……………2
Performance description (in an organization)……………….…4
Strengthen my strengths/Addressing competences…………6
Annex 1 (assignment 5)………………………………………..7
Annex 2 (assignment 6)………………………………………..9
View on management and my management ambitions
Nowadays the field of management has thrived largely. But what does it mean to be a manager and what it is that characterizes most a manager? My generalized opinion is that a manager is the person who tries to achieve things through other people’s work. Specifically, the purpose of this person is to implement the resources of an organization (staff, materials, capital, and machinery) and with this implementation he/she will be able to achieve the goals of this organization. But in order to accomplish that, the manager must have some competences such as to be demanding in terms of the development and evolving of his/her people, to be a leader and not a boss because in this way he/she will be able primarily to guide his/her team by acting as an example of morality, values and flexibility. In addition he/she has to set a clear vision, strategy and goals for his/her department and the actions that must be done to achieve them.
In my case I can surely say that my manager type/style is the “Coordinator Manager”. I used to be in the army like a soldier as well as the manager of the whole company inside the camp area. That means that as a manager I had to prepare the daily schedule with the help of 3 others persons for 64 people (chores, cleaning, cooking, patrols, shifts, weaponry). So for me that was my daily task, to maintain the circulation inside the camp by monitoring/supervising the other soldiers make sure that everything works perfect according to the protocols and regulations, everybody is in his position ready to act etc. Back then I did not know that I was a coordinator but now after having attended those 3 meetings I know that I had this role and it was suitable for me. So in the future I would love to try it again and act like this. My supervisors were satisfied with my work so I can do it again and succeed.
The only thing that makes me excited and motivates me to be a manager is the opportunity that you have to do the things in your own way, and by saying that I mean that you have to invest time on people (your team) for guiding them, educating them, supervising them, to achieve your goals as a team. Only the idea of doing this makes me feel powerful, sure and capable, ready to succeed. On the other hand because I am still a beginner probably on my first steps I will do mistakes, wrong choices or take some risks that I should have not taken, so this is something that de-motivates me but only with practice you can earn achievements. In addition another thing that I find difficult to deal with is that by my nature I am a perfectionist so probably if I let other people do the work I will have to monitor them very closely to make sure that everything works as it should be.
The exercise was about the “Elevator Pitch”. During my presentation I was really nervous because it was my first time that I had to present myself in English (I did not know how to speak English before I come to Wageningen) and I did a lot of mistakes, I was also confused and my mind went blank so I didn’t make it in 1 minute. Although my fellow colleagues gave me the opportunity to continue and finish my presentation. Having finished with this exercise I started thinking what I did wrong and what right and having always in my mind the feedback of my colleagues. I realized that I am able to make a really good presentation about myself in less than one minute but I have to practice a lot in front of the mirror. Also I found out that it was easier for me to explain what type of manager I am and what are my ambitions for the future knowing now more things about the field of management. On the other hand according to my colleagues I have to improve my body posture and not be so analytical. ? wasn’t satisfied with my performance most because of my English but as I said before this is something that I’m working on it this period of my life along with other skills that I have to develop. The next time, probably in a real situation, I will be able to respond and succeed.
Giving bad news
During this exercise I had the role of the manager and I had to tell the bad news to one of my employees. At the begging I tried to make her feel comfortable by asking her some general friendly questions and then I told her in a calm way about the problem that we have to face. I believe that my beginning was good enough according also to my colleague’s feedback. After she heard the bad news she actually stopped talking and looking at me. I didn’t know what to do, I felt uncomfortable and I started thinking if I was too strict with her or if I rushed with the news. After a short pause I started talking again to her trying to make her feel better. I made a lot of promises about a new job/department, I was trying to help her so much and at the end I got distracted and then I realized that I was mistaken. Because I didn’t give her time to think, to calm down, I just tried to make the big jump (from bad news to good news/promises). To sum up I can say that I am satisfied with my performance in this exercise because the beginning was good and at the end we found a win-win solution.
On the other hand I am not satisfied with the middle part of the conversation so I have to learn to be patient, let the other person to get lost in his/her thoughts, then try to listen actively to him/her and then discuss calmly about potential solutions. In the future I want to practice more in the first part of this situation because I think the first contact you have with the person before “storm breaks out” it’s the most important and then work also with the middle part as well.
Performance description (in an organization)
Before I come here to do my MSc Program I used to work in a courier company. One month ago my boss proposed to me to work in this company again but now as a manager in one of the departments, which is located in my hometown. Our relationship is really good and professional so when I will have finished with my studies probably I will start working again in his company. As I mentioned before I used to be a coordinator in the army and it is something that I love to do, so this is my chance to try it again. Probably the results of my work will be better this time or the way that I will be working it will be clearer to me because of all those things that I learned from this course and all those experiences that I have received with the aid of roleplaying during our meetings.
My ambition is to work again as a manager by using the style of the “Coordinator” and this company suits me best because the workplace it is similar to army. The things that I will have to do or in other words my main goal according to my boss will be first of all to prepare the daily schedule, separate the staff into different jobs/chores inside as well as outside the department, monitoring the staff who work inside the department, checking the time that courier guys spent during their “delivery trips”, make sure that everybody follows the right protocols and respect the rules and also his/her colleagues etc.
So I can imagine me doing that kind of job and I am already excited and willing to give the 100% of my capabilities. At the same time I will have the opportunity to test what I learnt from this course but of course without experimenting on people. I will be able to understand better the situations like conflicts, misunderstandings, the pitfalls of my management style and how to avoid them as well.
I think that my major strength as a manager is to supervising others. By my nature I am a very strict person, very serious showing no emotions at all and also a perfectionist. The combination of all those traits makes it easier for me to supervise the others without disturbing anyone. Another strength that I have is that I know how to motivate other people according to my friends and my ex colleagues. I can easily find out what is the thing that motivates someone and try to work on it to make him/her feel mentally strong and efficient. In addition I know well how to make plans, organizing or multi-tasking as well as that I am a “Team Player”, so I believe that a great manager must be willing to help his/her team.
On the other side, the competences that I want to improve and develop are:
Communication Skills, because as a manager you must have both good written and verbal communication skills to be able to manage effectively your employees.
Conflict Management, because in my previous experience I had to face many conflicts but I wasn’t able to deal with them in a sufficient way.
Strengthen my strengths/Addressing competences
My goal is to become a sufficient manager. I don’t want to be perfect, nobody is perfect, but at least I can make some improvements on my skills. The first thing that I want to develop most as I mentioned before is my communication skills both written and verbal because this is one of the major qualifications that you need if you want to be manager. I want to be able to have a strong opinion; I want my answers and my arguments to be well structured and clear. To improve this I have already started practicing with the help of my beloved aunt who is an expert on this field.
The second thing that I want to practice is the conflict management. During his/her career a manager will experience a lot of conflicts about different topics and different situations. During a conflict many things matter (personalities, individual behavior, background of the people, education, experience etc.) and also various situations may occur. Because this phenomenon is crucial I want to improve it and learn how to control myself, how to manage these situations, how to find the win-win solution without sacrificing too much and of course without hurting the feelings of anyone as well as to learn how to listen actively. So my plan now is to star practicing with friends who would like also to improve those skills, watching videos on internet about conflicts and trying to give my own answers or trying to imagine myself having this particular conflict that I am watching and how I would react.
Although if you want to travel the long road, some obstacles may appear in front of you. In my case the first obstacle is that I am afraid to take risks and fast decisions. In addition I always think about what if I lose my path during my practice? Or be distracted from something else? Even worse if I lose my motivation. I also don’t like failures, I know that without failures you are not going to learn nothing but probably because I am still young and inexperienced I think those things almost every day. I think that if I change my way of thinking and start focusing more on my goal than my weaknesses, I will be able to maintain my motivation along with my clear vision untouched. When I will have my first conflict solved in an appropriate way without drama or when I will start find solutions for every situation, then I will know that I succeeded.
On the other hand I want also to train more my strengths and also improve them because I don’t want to make silly mistakes or face some pitfalls that may occur. For instance as a coordinator I wouldn’t like to become a bureaucrat or pay more attention to the rules than to my staff.
In conclusion now I know what I want to do and what not to do, what is my plan for the future, who I want to be and why, my strengths and my weakness that’s I have to develop/improve and I am sure with a lot of hard work, at the end I will succeed.
Annex 1. Assignment 5 (manager interview)
Vision: When he decided to start this business (Courier Company) he was only 24 years old. His vision was to make something different for his region. There were not any other courier companies around that region so he wanted to help his fellow neighbors. He wanted to have a capable and dedicated staff to manage and try every day to improve his company.
Competences: The only one competency that he thinks that it is important to this kind of job is to monitoring his employees very closely. This job is so strict because you have to deal and make business with many people daily and you don’t have space for mistakes. So he thinks that if you supervise your staff continuously you will get great results.
Advices: Be yourself all the time. Be strict with the staff by monitoring and supervising them, push the staff if you think that they work in «low speed” otherwise you won’t be able to run your company in the speed that you want. Do not trust anyone from your clients if you have a relationship shorter than 2 years.
He has to talk with so many people every day and that makes him stressful.
A lot of bureaucracy which makes it difficult for him to expand his company or at least make some improvements on it.
At the beginning of his career nobody wanted to do business with him because he was young and inexperienced but now he collaborates with other companies and his client list is long.
Actually now I can understand why he was so strict with us. Also I will agree with him about monitoring everyone very closely otherwise you won’t get the results that you would like to get. During our Skype call I could realize that he is so serious about his business and he loves his employees although it doesn’t seem like that the most of the time.
Yes I recognized his strict, serious and leader characteristics, also I knew that he is not willing to trust others easily and particular his clients.
I think that he is a coordinator because of his tendency to always monitor everybody and because of his will to make all of us to follow the rules and protocols by letter.
Strengths: He was the perfect figure for the staff. Made the staff working faster because of his attitude. Everybody respect him and is satisfied with him.
Weakness: Sometimes he becomes really overwhelming/maniac with protocols and rules, emotional.
I think that I would do similar because I can see that we have a lot of things in common and our characters are similar. The only think that I would like to improve is to try being more strict with the others without showing my real emotions. His company works as it is supposed to be and everybody is satisfied and happy working there so I don’t think that I would do something better.
Annex 2. Assignment 6 (job interview)
Manager Job Duties:
To maintain the staff by selecting and training employees, maintaining a safe, secure, and work environment. Gives the opportunity to his/her employees for personal development.
Planning, monitoring, and evaluating job results. Coaching, and disciplining employees. Enforcing systems, policies, procedures, and productivity standards.
Establishes strategic goals. Identifying and evaluating trends and options.
Analyzing and try to solve customer service problems.
Knowledge of Industry: Understanding the best practices in a business and having a good grasp of overall operations.
Good Communication Skills: Manager must be able to communicate effectively with employees, customers and supervisors. This means that he/she must have both written and verbal communication skills, encounter problems and help his/her team to collaborate as it is supposed to be.
Ability to Direct People: That means helping employees set goals, have the necessary resources to do their jobs efficiently.
Time Management Skill: This means not only being able to effectively budget his/her own time, but also the time of employees.
Problem Solving Ability: Managers are called most of the time to tackle problems. A manager must have inner strength that enables him/her to help the staff assess and resolve problems.
Opportunity for promotion
Friendly workplace environment
Job Interview Questions
1. For how many years have you done this job, and what was the staff/team that you had to manage?
Aim of this question:
Confirmation of enough management experience
Nomination of how many people he/she has managed
Clues that he/she has taken on more responsibility over time
2. How would you describe your management style?
Aim of this question:
Indications that his/her leadership style will match my department
I will be able to assess which would be the perfect spot to place him/her in my company (office, department)
3. Did your management style change at all with the passage of time?
Aim of this question:
Clues of willingness to learn and evolve as a manager
Indications that his/her style will be effective for the team they would lead
Examples of why he/she has changed his/her style
4. How do you handle a situation when you have to deal with an underperforming employee? How often did you have to face this kind of situations?
Aim of this question:
Evidence that he/she has experience handling employee performance issues
Indications that he/she is comfortable with confrontation
Appropriate thinking about action for underperforming staff
5. How do you feel when you are mistaken in the workplace? How do you handle your mistakes?
Aim of this question:
Evidence that he/she is able to identify his/her own shortcomings
Awareness of the importance of self-correcting his/her mistakes as a leader
Evidence that he/she may holds him/herself to a high standard as a manager
6. How would you describe the most important task of a manager in the workplace?
Aim of this question:
Indications that he/she has enough experience to understand the key elements of management
Evidence of a value system that makes him/her a good fit for my company
Ability to prioritize the tasks of management
Reader and articles from Blackboard
Videos on internet about management