Managers who fail to follow up cause a lot of problems.
Pepe Villacís - 11 de mayo, 2023
Make sure you follow up properly and show others that you respect their time, resources, and relationship. Both at work and at home. Instead, if we do not follow up, we demonstrate arrogance and disrespect for their time.
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 through on work, goals, and projects to the end. If you really do it and always do it, you will be very successful in your management role.
No matter your level, no matter the size of your company, it is a rare attribute that only the most capable managers have.
Effectively following up with your customers requires an overhaul of your communication and supervisory skills.
Managers who are lazy at following up inadvertently cause tons of problems: delayed projects, day-to-day activities not accomplished or poorly done, employees, peers, and superiors who no longer trust them, wasted time or money, and ultimately face dismissal 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.
The 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 between organizational priorities that shift again and again. And when they find the route 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 or her management team look like a bunch of attention-deficit children, is further complicated when people have inordinate egos, aggressive personalities, insecure and competitive spirits, and little adaptability to change. Equally, 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) to unite the management team.
How to improve your follow-up skills.
There is no secret technique for following up and seeing it through to the end. It requires energy and involvement. And it requires developing and understanding a management style that values the power of follow-through.
- First, you must become an organized and planful person.
- Keep a written to-do list that is always up to date.
- Hold effective meetings in a systematic and planned way.
- 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, and don't do things "on the spur of the moment.
- Force yourself to plan, so that you don't operate permanently in "crisis mode".
Influence your team, peers, or superiors to learn and cultivate this habit.
- Analyze well who needs to be involved and informed of each situation. Develop a "managerial intuition", to make the necessary things known to higher levels, without letting them become complicated and without hiding them.
- Develops a personality that focuses on "finishing or completing things". Don't 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, also rely on your ability to plan, be proactive, and negotiate. Agree and manage workloads and deadlines with your own superiors or head office.
- You must have monitoring and feedback processes in place: well-run meetings, minutes, action plans, and IT support.
- Use technology tools, don't be a 'micro-manager', let your people work, contribute, get results, and take responsibility for results together with you. You accompany, facilitate and recognize.
- Keep the higher levels and others, critically related to each activity or project, informed every week about the progress. This can be through a short 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 have 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 questions are repeated - what did we do last time?
- Don't admit or make an example of setbacks, mistakes, or failures. Let people engage in blaming others, making excuses or pretexts, and denying obvious facts and problems.
Live above the line and offer your example to others: you must be very consistent 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 this, they will learn to live this way.
Por Pepe Villacís
Bachelor´s Degree in Accounting and Auditing. Master in Business (obtained in Arizona USA). Personal Coach, certified by CoachVille Spain. Business Coach, Management Coach and Coach of Coaches of ActionCoach Mexico.