The Importance of Being Observant
Managers often complain that no one confides in them. It’s true that people worry about conversations they have with bosses, concerned that they may say the wrong thing, reveal too much. Even as they try to build personal relationships, their titles, duties and the structures around them keep bosses from being “one of the gang.”
So the smart manager must be especially observant, must notice changes in behavior patterns, moods, off-the-cuff remarks that may provide real insights. Anything that helps you know your team better helps you lead and delegate better.
That’s why I’s eyes and ears are always open. I doesn’t run teams as much as watch them. And I is always on the lookout for signs of danger, anomalies, evidence of wiretaps, or undercover cops. Even when I’s having a meal with my old friend Artie Bucco, I asks the waiter to get the license plates of two patrons who look like they might be undercover feds.
I keeps my ear to the ground and my eyes open. That’s how good leaders learn about their people and organizations—and present problems.
Managers need insight and knowledge, yet people don’t always confide in them. The smart manager must be especially observant, must notice changes in behavior patterns, moods, off- thecuff remarks that may provide real insights:
- Look for signs of conflict, bullying, ostracizing.
- Watch for clues, like changes in work performance, tardiness, moodiness.
- Notice if someone is unusually quiet, arriving late, leaving early.
- If you notice something, talk to the party involved immediately.