Managers often find themselves playing the role of middle-man because that is what they are...in the middle. Managers are the go-between for higher management and the workers. You can see how this can present a conflict of interests. How do you represent the views of the upper echelon and protect the interests of those who work under you at the same time? It can be done, of course, and is done every day. It's part and parcel of being a manager and goes with the territory along with a large dose of stress.
The same thin line is being walked between customer and company loyalty. How can a manager look out for the best interests of customers and top management at the same time?
Then there is the fear factor involved in knowing when to act, when to speak up, or the desire to try something new. On the one hand, Managers are encouraged to speak up, and take risks - if the risks will lead to successful outcomes! But if the risk doesn't have a successful outcome, heads will roll, and we don't have to guess whose head will be rolling! Likewise, speaking up is all very well and good, but what if it damages the working relationship?
The problem with walking these fine lines is finding the perfect balance. Finding this balance is just one of the new skills Managers need to learn and master to be effective in their roles.
The key to finding this balance is in learning the art of communication in its truest sense. We can speak the harshest truths without ruffling feathers when we choose our words carefully. We know it is possible to soothe an unhappy customer without running our company down - this is a skill sales people use every day - and we can apply that skill to in-house communications too. Here are a few ways we can do this and walk the thin line without falling off:
Managers may feel torn from time to time, but with effective communication skills under their belt they will be able to walk the thin line with confidence.
Written by Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS, CCC-SLP, the CEO of Coaching Instruction.com, popular Master Certified personal and business Coach, sought after Public Speaker, and Author of bestsellers, "Stop Managing, Start Coaching", "Work Yourself Happy", "Coaching for an Extraordinary Life" and "Create Your Ideal Body". She can be contacted via the web site www.TerriLevine.com or by telephone: 215-699-4949.