Managing Managersby Dennis Randolph, (M.ASCE), Managing Director; Calhoun County Road Commission, Calhoun County, MI,
Early in their careers engineers usually begin to manage small groups of people. To learn the necessary skills of management young engineers often imitate their supervisors. This approach to training not only passes along the good skills of the existing managers but also the mistakes and poor processes they use. Because imitative training passes along both good and poor management skills it is an inefficient method and may actually promote poor practices. Good management training should be more than junior managers imitating a given way of doing things. Good management training should be the conscious passing along of techniques that managers can use to deal effectively with people and help them (the employees) to do their job well. Among these techniques should be ways for managers to evaluate their assistants. Using these skills the manager can know how their assistants are treating the people working for them, and if the assistant managers are giving every person the fairest opportunity to succeed. Again, fair treatment, and an opportunity to succeed are the key ingredients needed if organizational goals are to be reached.
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