Human Resource Management - Book Review “Managing Your Boss” by John J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter Harvard Business Review, 2005 Introduction People sometimes do not realize how much their bosses depend on them and many people also do not realize how much they depend on their boss. For example bosses need honesty from manager’s direct reports. People can managing their bosses for very good reasons: to get resources to do the best job, not only for their-selves but also for their bosses and their companies as well. Effective managers take time and effort to manage not only relationship with subordinates but also those with their bosses.
This essential aspect of management is sometimes ignored by otherwise talented and aggressive managers. And there are some managers who actively and effectively supervise subordinates, markets, etc assume an almost passively reactive stance when they meet their bosses. With this mutual dependence, effective managers seek out information about boss’s concerns and are sensitive to his work style. Whether see the boss as the enemy or viewing the boss as an all-wise parent. Summary The book is divided into four big parts. First part is Misreading The Boss-Subordinate Relationship.
This part provide about how two people can on occasional be psychological or temperamentally incapable of working together, where a personality conflict sometimes only a very small part of the problems. Sometimes people did not realize that their relation with their subordinates involved mutual dependence between two unperfected human being. Some people behave base on their thought, that their bosses were not really rely on them. And some people behave as they not really rely on their bosses. To manage situation like this we need a good understanding of the other person and ourselves, and use that information to develop and anage a compatible working atmosphere that compatible with both people’s work style and assets. Second part is about Understanding The Boss where we need to appreciate our boss’s goals and pressures, strengths and weakness, their organizational and personal objectives, their long suits and blind spot. And also the detail of their style of working like how they like to get information through memos, formal meeting or phone calls? Managers cannot avoid unnecessary conflicts, and problems without that information. Sensitive to a boss’s style can be crucial especially when the boss is new.
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Third part is about Understanding Yourself where we need to develop an effective working relationship requires, and then knows our own needs. We not going to change our basic personality but we can be more aware about what impedes us and we can facilitates working with our bosses. With that, relationship became more effective. Gaining self-awareness and acting on it are difficult but not impossible. There are two types of managers, counter dependence and overdependence. Both lead managers to hold unrealistic view of what a boss is, and ignore that most bosses, are imperfect and fallible.
Forth part is Developing and Managing The Relationship. With a clear understanding about ourselves and our boss, we can usually create a way of working together that fits both of us. That can help ourselves and our boss be more productive and effectively. Find a compatible work style. Peter Drucker divides bosses into listener and reader. Some like to get information in report so they can read and study about it, other better with information presented in person so they can ask question. Discover mutual expectation from both sides. Some bosses will spell out their expectations very explicit and detail, but must do not.
Effective managers will find ways to get that information. Mutual expectation requires us to communicate our own expectation to the boss. Effective managers recognize that they probably under estimate what their bosses need to know, and make sure they find ways to keep them informed through processes that fit their styles. It is almost impossible for bosses to work effectively if they cannot rely on a fairly accurate reading from their subordinate. Managers need to use their boss’s time effectively. Critique In this book, managing your boos doesn’t mean tricking or leading your boss.
But it is more likely to make a supportive working atmosphere with your boss. In order for you to gave the best, not only for company and your boss benefits but also for yourself. The most important is for you. Managing your boss need to understand what are boss needs, working style, his or her strengths, and weaknesses. Act like a detective. It just likes mutual dependence between two fallible human beings. A good understanding of other person and yourself especially regarding strengths, weaknesses, work styles and needs is a must. And then use that information to develop and manage a healthy working relationship.
It’s a right way to effectively managing your boss. Smart way to avoiding conflict and make mistake. According to boss’s opinion, employees sometimes did too many wrong things that spending their time. But it not always because of employees really did a wrong thing, but sometimes also because of the boss being vague about what he need and his expectation. It’s hard to find out because some bosses are unclear and lazy to explaining the details because it will consume much time to explain it. But in other hand employees sometimes become a victim of bad bosses.
It just likes two different perspectives about boss-subordinate relationship. To understand your boss, the article says, we need to appreciate his goals and pressure, strengths and weakness, his long suit and blinds spot and even his preferable to get information through. To understanding yourself, there are two behaviors, counter dependent and over dependent. One see boss as an enemy, other see boss as an all-wise parent. Both behaviors failed to understand boss as a fallible human. Boss also have their own pressures and concerns, they also have limited time, don’t have encyclopedic knowledge or extrasensory perception.
If you aware enough of these issues, and understand about the different, you can estimate in which area we fall, that might affect relationship between you and your boss. Finding his hot buttons, little things that people do will annoy them. Hot buttons are hard to anticipate but employee need to watch their boss closely to see what kind of things can pushes that hot buttons. Next step is to find a way of working that suits employee and boss. Work style can be customized and adapted so that you communicate become more effectively. How much information does your boss want?
Peter Drucker categorizing bosses as "listeners" or "readers. " We need to brief “listener” in person, then follow it up with a memo. Some want a really detail about everything that employees are doing, including background information. Other just wants a quick short brief overview and become impatient when employee describes explanations. Finding out whether your boss is a 5 minute boss or a 30 minute boss or not at all, will make relationship between employee and boss flow more smoothly. Cover important items on proposal, in a memo or report for a “reader” then discuss it with them.
Building mutual expectations is important. Specify a boss's expectations can be tricky, employee need to think creatively, perhaps sending boss memos outlining expectations and scheduling follow-up meetings to cover the memos. Employees should keep their boss as informed as possible, in ways that suit their boss style. Meeting deadlines is critical, and honesty is still the best policy, particularly where your boss is concerned. Conclusion In my opinion, it is just about two fallible, that really a human thing. Every employee need to read this book, to open their eyes about unseen things in their everyday working.
Although it not as easy as turning our hands, we need to have a really good understanding, not only our bosses, bur also ourselves. Beside we need to be a detective, we also need to care about every detail things about our bosses. It is easy to read, but maybe a little bit hard to do it, it requires a lot of mutual understanding. Just like building, managing and taking care of our own relationship with our boyfriend or girlfriend. This is a really interesting and very useful book for my career. It told me everything that I didn’t realize all this time.
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