Judging people: External vs. Internal

AngryHappy New Year, everybody! 🙂

AnyaWorkSmart is back online and will continue with discussion of every aspect of Management that can be improved by fighting Biases. I decided that the first post of the year should deal with a situation where the negative influence of Biases is most critical – our attempts to judge others based on their appearances and actions. Continue reading

A Happy New Year present for my readers: my Top 5 Favorite Movies for Managers

office spaceAs Season Greetings are almost upon us and Anyworksmart will traditionally go into well-deserved recess for the next month, I decided to finish the year with something light yet meaningful in order to thank my readers for being with me during the last two years. The best thing that came to my mind was to provide you with a list of five of my favorite movies and TV shows that you can watch with your family during the holidays, while also benefiting from their very serious insights about being a Manager. Continue reading

“Can a Non-Expert manage Experts?” – From Ask Anya mails

Ask Anya MailFollowing post : An Eternal Argument: Can a non-Expert manage Experts?

“I read your post carefully and I have to say that I completely disagree. In my experience, any attempt to manage IT developers without also being a technical expert is doomed to failure for several reasons. For one, the developers have no one to talk to if they encounter serious technical problems and need further guidance – non-technical manager cannot provide this guidance by definition. Continue reading

More on Delegation: Micro-management and “Hands-On” Management Style

micro or hands-on managerAfter talking to people about my post on Delegation I decided to expand the discussion to other related issues in Management that everybody knows about, but the general understanding remains vague, preventing fruitful actions. Today I would like to talk about the most frequent complaint of employees about their Managers – them being MicromanagersContinue reading

When to delegate and when to do it yourself

DelegationDelegation is such an integrative part of Management that it seems everything has already been said about it. We all understand its benefits for grooming potential Leads and know how to redistribute the load of responsibility according to people’s natural tendencies.  However, in real world we sometimes find it hard to apply our knowledge for the simple reason that delegation basically means trusting people with important things, and having some actual experience in dealing with employees sometimes makes trust a very rare resource. Continue reading

An Eternal Argument: Can a Non-Expert manage Experts?

you are not an expertCan you put a non-engineer to lead an IT development team? How effective would be a financial product development team when managed by someone who has no previous experience with financial systems? When looking for someone to fill an executive position in an aviation sales department, should you be looking for someone who has more experience with aviation, a better salesman or A BETTER MANAGER?

I think it’s easy to understand what I’m getting at: there is an eternal argument going on in every possible industry – when looking for Managers, should you prefer people from the same industry or people with good managerial skills but without any previous knowledge of the industry. Continue reading

Your own PM style: Do You Have It?

styleHow did we come to know what we know? Obviously, our first answer would be that we learned things in schools and universities and later acquired some practical experience in the job market. After that, we did our best to keep ourselves updated about the state of the art, visiting trainings and reading articles.

But I’m not talking about that. What I’m asking is how did you come to acquire your style of working, your working patterns, the certain way you do things – they didn’t teach you those things in the university. Continue reading

Office Politics, Part 2: What’s your Status?

your statusAfter discussing the basic properties of Office Politics and the importance of gossiping correctly in order to succeed at it, I would like to discuss the concept of Social Status.

If gossip is one of the main tools of Office Politics, status is its main currency, being lost or acquired through different actions and interactions. For some people, the goal is to achieve maximum level of status, however if you’ve ever heard about Peter Principle, you may consider achieving optimal status instead. Continue reading

Office Politics, Part 1: How to gossip correctly

Office politics 2In my previous post I did my best to present the concept of Legitimate Office Politics, while stressing the importance of doing it properly. Now let’s deal with one of its most basic aspects – participating in Office Gossip.

There are people who have a natural and an understandable aversion to any kind of gossip. They usually think something like: “I don’t like it when people discuss me behind my back, so I’m not ready to discuss others behind their backs”. However, one glance at the history of humankind can prove that gossiping is such an important part of our lives that there is no escaping it.  Continue reading

Let’s talk about Office Politics

Office politicsThis is clearly our most favorite aspect of office life to complain about. It’s hard to imagine a normal person expressing any liking for all the intrigues, gossips and “pointless” conversations filled with personal agendas and lacking any practical goal. Mostly we try to distance ourselves from “all that” or at least we like to think that we do. Continue reading