A manager who does not follow up causes many problems.
Follow up appropriately, let others see that you respect their time, resources, and the relationship they have with you, both in the professional and personal environment. Conversely, if we fail to follow up, we project an attitude of arrogance and disregard for their time and productivity.
Follow-up is an essential skill for supervisors and managers. It allows us to prevent and solve problems, maintain strong relationships, and communicate clearly and assertively. Don't drop the ball! Don't hide!
It sounds simple and easy, it's all about following up on work, goals, and projects to the end. If you consistently do it and do it well, you will be very successful in your management role.
No matter your level or the size of your company, it is a rare attribute that only the most capable managers have.
Effectively following up with your clients requires a review of your communication and supervisory skills.
Managers who are too lazy to follow-up inadvertently cause tons of problems: delayed projects, day-to-day activities not accomplished or poorly done, as well as employees, peers, and superiors who no longer trust them, loss of time or money, and finally, they will face layoffs and unemployment themselves.
Failure to follow up until the results of a project are perfected, or failure to follow up to ensure that day-to-day activities do not go off track, stems from communication problems. Sometimes it is because the person who initiates a project, or oversees an activity, is not the person who implements it. Even if the organizational level between the leader and the implementer is very different, the instructions -as they go down the organizational ladder- become imprecise, confusing, and useless for a good implementation.
Constant change of initiatives, causes loss of focus
Managers, as we all know, are required to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources. And they must navigate organizational priorities that shift again and again. When they do find a way to deal with their changing context, they often change the direction of the business, affecting many projects, initiatives, and activities that are already underway.
This situation, which makes the leader and his management team look like a group of children with an attention deficit, and becomes even more complicated when people have excessive egos, aggressive personalities, insecure and competitive spirit, and little adaptability to change. Likewise, the scenario becomes more difficult when management and productivity skills are limited in some of the participants, or when there is no clarity of communication or purpose (with concrete defined expectations) that a management team has.
How to better follow up:
There is no secret technique for following up and seeing it through to the end. It requires energy and involvement. It requires developing and understanding a management style that values the power of follow-up.
- First of all, you must become an organized and planning person.
- Keep a written to-do list that is always up to date.
- Hold effective meetings in a systematic and planned manner.
- Learning to delegate is not an easy process: it takes conviction and practice.
In addition, to be good at the art of follow-up, you will need to consider the following:
- Organize your thoughts and activities in the right way.
- Take time to reflect, don't do things "on the spur of the moment".
- Force yourself to plan, so that you do not operate permanently in "crisis mode".
- Analyze who has to be involved and informed of each situation. Develop a "managerial intuition", to make the necessary things known to higher levels, without letting them get complicated and without hiding them.
- Develop a personality that focuses on "finishing or completing things". Do not leave things half done in any aspect of your life. This is called "closure".
- Try not to drown your subordinates in work. To the extent possible, rely on your ability to plan, be proactive, and negotiate. Agree and manage workloads and deadlines with your own superiors or the head office.
- It is critical that you have established follow-up and feedback processes: well-run meetings, minutes, action plans, IT support.
- Use technological tools, don't be a "micro-manager", let your people work, contribute, obtain results, be responsible for them together with you. You accompany, facilitate and recognize.
- Keep higher levels, critical to each activity or project, informed weekly on the progress of the project. This can be through a brief descriptive email or a simple scorecard or progress or status board, which is useful to them and useful to you.
- Get your team used to having a proposed solution when they present you with questions or problems. Answer questions with questions, to make them grow: what do you suggest, what do you think, and even, since the questions are repeated, what did we do last time?
- Do not set an example in the face of setbacks, mistakes or failures of letting people dedicate themselves to blaming others, making excuses or pretexts, denying facts and obvious problems.
Influence your work team, your peers, or superiors to learn and cultivate this habit.
Live above the line and offer your example to others: you must be very congruent in showing yourself to the team as the master of your destiny, responsible for your actions and convinced that your results depend on you. If they perceive it this way, they will learn to live this way.
By Upnify Editorial Team
The Upnify Editorial Team is made up of professionals and experts in Marketing, Sales, Communication, Design and other areas. They share their experience through articles enriching the commercial culture.