Managing managers is different than managing employees. The transition phase which witnesses the leaders being vested with the responsibility to look after manager from having to look after employees often leaves them wondering how to manage in this new capacity.
When entrusted with the task of managing managers, the responsibility of the leader doubles as they are not only responsible for the performance of their managers but also making sure that these managers are offering due support to their employees.
· Lead by Behavior
Your managers are more likely to implement the management style they witness you practicing. Therefore, make your behavior a model for them to mirror. Your managers are more likely to follow what you do rather than what you say. For e.g. if you are delegating authority provide them with clear objectives, give them tangible targets, fix responsibility, provide support, offer feedback, follow up and they are likely to mirror your behavior when delegating themselves.
· Avail Opportunities to watch them in Action
One of the most effective ways to manage your managers is to avail the opportunity to watch them in action. You can always accompany your managers while they are conducting job interviews, giving feedback to their employees, delegating authority and responsibility, reviewing their performance etc.
This way you can have firsthand knowledge of how your managers are managing their teams.
· Never ridicule your Managers in front of their Employees
Do not make the mistake of ridiculing your managers in front of their employees. Do not give in to the temptation of overriding your manager suggestions or orders at least in front of others. When you feel that an intervention is inevitable speak to the manager in the private and not in the public and let him implement the change.
· Make Efforts to Know your Managers Teams
Nothing restricts or bars you from getting to know the teams of your managers. This has several benefits first it will allow you to evaluate the employees and accordingly offer coaching and feedback to your managers. Secondly, it also offers you the benefit of spotting any resentment and signs of dissatisfaction in the employees.
· Sit your Managers down and ask them if they Need Support
Once in a while it is advised to sit your managers down individually or in a group and ask them about any possible problems they may be encountering. However, this requires building trust and confidence between you and your managers or you managers may refrain from sharing thinking that it would point out to their weaknesses and their inability to manage their teams.
Therefore, set them at ease and assure them that you mean to support them in carrying out their managerial responsibilities.
These are some of the most effective and practical manners that can help you manage your managers. However, all this requires that you enjoy good relations with your manager that are based on mutual trust and respect.
Finally, remember that your managers are likely to mirror your behavior when it comes to managing their own team. Therefore, make sure you deal with them in a manner you want them to deal with their teams.