When I said I was back to work this week, it was kinda/sorta of the truth. I've actually been at a class all this week teaching me how to manage people.
Yeah, stop laughing.
The thing is, I've managed people before. In a previous life, I was the associate editor of two weekly community newspapers. Whenever the editor was away, I was technically in charge.
However, as I'm learning this week, I'm not sure if editors always have the best people management skills. I mean, many of my editors have motivated me to complete my assigned tasks by basically threatening my life.
There's a line in a recent Warren Ellis graphic novel - JLA: New Maps of Hell - that I like. I can't recommend the book; it's one of Ellis' weaker efforts. But there's a great bit involving some of the Superman cast. Where Daily Planet editor Perry White is looking for Lois Lane and Clark Kent. His line: "Where's Lane and Kent? I want to drink their blood."
I've had editors like that. Where death is the favoured motivating technique in getting reporters to finish their stories before deadline. And I picked up on that and it became how I managed people when I was in charge. It didn't work on more senior reporters who had been around the block a few years. Threatening them with death is laughable. If the chronic drinking hadn't killed them at that point, they're far too sturdy for me to do them in. But as you might have figured out, enticing them with alcohol - effective motivating technique. However, death threats did work on younger reporters.
I've learned this week that perhaps, perhaps this is not the best way of getting people to do their job. This is a shock to me. I'm going to have to completely reevaluate how I manage people...when I get someone to manage.
Yeah, I'm doing a management course, yet there is a notable lack of people for me to manage. I mean, I have the word "manager" in my job title, but I thought it was just one of those words that they put in there to make you feel special. But no, apparently they mean it. I have no one right now, but I'll get someone next year. So this is all excellent prep work on how to handle the one person I'll be managing. I sure hope they appreciate all I'm learning and that I've discovered that threatening to drink their blood is wrong.
So what I'm learning is that communication is important. Or rather, positive communication is important (hence the not threatening to make them weep). Assigning goals, being accessible and recognizing different personality types and how to work with them.
I've also learned that I'm an introvert, which I'm sure is a shock to many. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator I also like facts (Sensor, not intuitive), tend to be more of a feeler than a thinker (which is an assessment I'm skeptical on) and a perceiver rather than a judger. Or an ISFP. It's kind of interesting to learn some of the stuff, actually. Maybe I should get Cathy to do the test. That could be fun...