Four Things That Google Learned About Managers

The best managers practice these four habits
The best managers practice these four habits
Image Credit: zilupe Follow

We all know who Google is, right? Well it turns out that they like data and they like processing data. What this means for managers is that Google spends their time collecting data about how managers are using their manager skills to manage their teams and then they process that data. They used to think that the smartest people made the best managers, turns out that they were wrong – they needed to get some manager training. It’s the people who do the best job of working with people. Google’s been collecting data for quite some time and they have recently gone back and taken a look at their data. Four new characteristics of a good manager have shown up.

Good Managers Create An Inclusive Team Environment

What good managers do is to show real concern for the members of their team. In order to make this happen, they first have to create an environment in which everyone feels included. In order to create this kind of environment, the manager has to show a sense of belonging because it is the first step toward showing genuine concern for employees’ well-being. An inclusive team is almost like doing team building every day.

Good managers take the time to create this kind of environment because they know that it is the key to good team communication. An inclusive team environment ensures that everyone’s voice is heard and that all team members feel like they can bring their full selves with them to work. A good manager realizes that it doesn’t matter how much you care if, at the end of the day, employees don’t feel part of the team. A good managers needs to create an environment that celebrates everyone’s differences.

Be A Supporter Of Career Development And Discuss Status

A good manager understands that each member of their team needs to know where they want to go and how they are currently doing. The reason that we have these discussions with the members of our team is because development opportunities that are not driven by performance feedback are a poor use of a manager’s time and resources.

A good manager realizes that just talking with a team member is not enough. Instead, they have to provide feedback and then follow it up with a customized development plan. By doing this, team members walk away from performance reviews feeling encouraged and supported rather than frustrated and confused. Managers have the responsibility to not only serve as a sounding board as individuals consider development opportunities, but also to ensure their efforts lead to improved team performance.

Collaborates Across The Company

The really good managers don’t do it all by themselves. Instead, they understand that it really does take a village to accomplish all of the things that a manager needs to get done. Your team will never be able to be successful if you are the one who is not playing nice with other departments. Now, more than ever, a team’s effectiveness relies on its ability to collaborate with others and create comprehensive solutions.

What you have to learn how to do is to remove silos across the company. It is only by learning how to do this that you will be able to create stronger, more deliberate connections between functions, people, teams, and locations. In the end, this is exactly what you’ll need in order to be successful as a manager.

Be Able To Make And Stick With Strong Decisions

We all know what it is like when a manager can’t make up their mind. People go into “hold mode” and work stops getting done. It’s important that managers provide their team with guidance and act swiftly to ensure their team’s work stays on track, and the impact is maximized.

Managers need to find ways to ensure that they are making good decisions – sticking with bad decisions will do nobody any good. What this means is that you have to get comfortable with testing your ideas out loud and collecting feedback by explicitly advocating for your team’s opinions (voicing individual views, reasoning, and providing data). Then you have to test your team’s understanding by inquiring about others’ perspectives (soliciting ideas and feedback). Finally, you have to synthesize the responses to ensure a comprehensive understanding before making a decision.

What All Of This Means For You

We’d all like to be known as being a good manager. The challenge is that none of us really knows just exactly what that means. We think we know, but who is to say if we are correct? Over at Google they’ve been thinking about what makes a good manager for quite some time. What’s even better is that they have been collecting data on their managers in order to find out what makes the good ones good. What they have found is that the good managers all have four identifiable traits.

The first of these traits is that they create an inclusive team environment. This allows their team to feel as though their voice will be heard and allows them to fully commit to their job. Managers also support the career development of their team members and have performance discussions with them. This allows a manager to provide feedback and a customized development plan. Good managers know that they can’t do it all by themselves and so they collaborate across departments. This allows their team to operate at their highest level. Good managers know how to make strong decision. However, these decisions are only made after testing them out with their team first.

Good managers are the type of manager that everyone wants to work for. Good managers are the ones who are able to get things accomplished. We’d all like to become a good manager. If we take the time to look at what Google is trying to tell us about what good managers do, then perhaps we will have found the path that will lead to our becoming good managers.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What is the best way to determine if you have been able to build an inclusive team environment?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every manager knows that technology offers many business benefits, from driving productivity to transforming operations to optimizing workflows. However, there is a dark side also. Technology can open up a company to cyberattacks — a threat that, in most cases, companies are not equipped to handle. So who’s most at risk? Small and midsize businesses. The biggest problem is that 80 percent of CEOs are non-technical. As a result, they haven’t learned to manage a risk that, right now, is bigger than any other financial or legal risk. This is where managers need to be able to step in and take action.