May 19

Building Departmental Character


By Chuck Coker

As you manage and develop your departmental member’s support systems, your greatest challenge will be to adapt your management style to meet multiple-character patterns. Without these differences, you would not be able to achieve the campaign results with which you are tasked.

Diversity helps ensure all bases are covered within each new project. However, diversity also presents a wide array of challenges for management.

In order for you to maximize departmental potential, you will want to use, as a beginning, a tool that provides you with a quick glance or a starting point for managing their character. Your best bet is to use a tool like the one in our previous post. However, it works better if you individualize it for each departmental member.

In the following matrix you will see an example of how to identify key characteristics which allow you to do several things:

  1. Identify and communicate in their preferred behavioral language

  2. Clarify the best way to approach how they prefer to address and complete a project

  3. Pinpoint how to best gain their commitment to the group and/or project placed within their realm of responsibility.

Your management style, and what you create in your department, will have a huge impact on how employees feel, and how well they produce. Only you can take your employee’s unique characteristics and bring them to potential. This is why you are in the position you are in.

Producing an ROI is not just important this quarter, it is important every quarter. The only way you can acquire and maintain excellence in great employees is to manage and develop their characteristics. Here is what the matrix above is telling you:

  1. Employees’ behaviors are impacted by their mindsets or values. The way they express themselves is not as relevant as to why they are expressing their opinions. Communication is important. Find a way to relate, and the communication will take care of itself.

  2. Employees’ values tell you how they want to be approached. When you understand the way an employee approaches his or her work, you have deep insight into their successes and failures. Use this knowledge to temper the way you help them succeed.

  3. You, as a manager, must remember that you are supposed to be the repository of wisdom and knowledge about your subject matter, the industry, the strategic direction of your organization, and what is needed for success. You are in a position to be successful. The only way that will happen is if your employees are successful. Adapt when necessary. Be the adult who displays maturity and poise. To simply manage or react does nothing to the maturity of the department nor increase your chance of success.

About the author 

Chuck Coker

For more than 30 years, Chuck has focused his career on people's development. He has implemented proprietary Personal Formation, Human Capital, Talent Management, and incentive-based programs across a broad scope of Fortune Companies, regional organizations, and educational institutions.


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