by Michael Holland    

You’ve heard the noise.  The car next to you has a booming base radiating out through its closed windows.  You can feel the sound in your car.  Is it techno or is it classical or is that a pop beat?  Are you moving to the beat?  Or maybe you’re looking in disgust and pondering the rate of hearing loss on the driver.

Think About It: When managing individuals, you must think about their individual music beats, much like each person has his preference to different genres of music and varying levels of volume, base, and treble.

While you may be inclined to take a common approach in managing your employees, each person needs to be thought of and then managed individually.  You need to consider his experience in completing an assignment, his personal style, the relationship you have with the person, his past successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses and then decide how to best manage the person. Some people will require more task direction while others will need more supportive behavior – coaching and encouragement.

It is likely that as a person matures in a position you will be able to decrease your task focus and continue your supportive behavior, ultimately even decreasing this as well. But keep track and pay attention to how someone is responding. You may need to pull back and offer more support if conditions change or if a person faces unexpected roadblocks. Remember, your job as a leader is to lead – not the masses, but the individuals.

Take Action: Make a list of your staff and indicate – individually – your management volume level today.  Is the employee moving to the beat?  What can/should you do?  Add a little base?  Decrease the volume a bit?