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Your day to day management

Mar 02, 2021
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I have worked in different types of companies and domains, from startups to big corps, across different countries and cultures, which made me realized that I was staying or leaving job positions mainly due to the type of management I was getting. Not always related to a person in particular but just to the management as a whole area.

But, what’s the difference between good and bad managers? I am not the one who will give you that answer, I never like to blame or to point any fingers at specific roles even less at people, so I will try to focus on things that I appreciate from managers.

The power of compliments

Not in all situations, money is the main and only driver of our success, and what is going to tell how valuable you are. There are times where recognition plays an important role.

Recognition can help people to understand that every voice matters, that they are being listened to, and making an impact in the company. And that’s when the positive reinforcement comes into the picture.

There was a time when I was part of a big organization, in a quite large scale team, where collaboration was vital to our success as a core platform team. 

Other devs were dependant on our products, which made us think that we needed to promote collaboration in a most advanced way. That was when the sense of creating a community popped up and we opened up our tooling to the whole company.

With that in place, everyone was able to collaborate which encouraged people to participate more, create value, and feel that they were making a big impact on the progress of the platform.

Although it did not scale up as well as expected, giving recognition to all these devs during meetings with the big fishes gave them the courage to continue forward towards building a community vibe that I have mentioned before. 

1:1 Meetings

These are regular meetings that happen on a regular basis, where the frequency can vary depending on companies and the people involved.

It is one of my favorites IT common rituals, where I have the space to communicate directly with my manager. Useful to keep track of your goals and check whether there are aligned, and your expectations are met. 

A place where there should be sanity checks about your motivation and ambition within your job, and most important where feedback must be from both sides in order to get a positive outcome.

Creating a nice vibe, and make people feel comfortable about sharing anything, without being judged or afraid is crucial for the performance of this gathering together. 

Good managers

I always try to focus on the bright side of things, which in the end will cover up the missing gaps, so here are a few of my learnings about managers that I always appreciate:

  • Good managers do not force you to work extra hours, meritocracy is not necessary!
  • Good managers respect your time-off
  • Good managers challenge you to take into new challenges based on your expertise
  • Good managers are good at setting expectations, and what is expected from every role
  • Good managers protect the team, keeps the politics away, and create a shield for the team from all the distractions. Of course, there are times where context is needed and the participation of engineers is necessary.

Although I have had different managers at work, having the opportunity to speak out and share opinions was not always there for me.

So, whenever I look back in time, I tend to appreciate more the fact that people are becoming more aware of the need of having space where they can open up and share feelings. Because no matter how technical your job may be, sooner or later there will be feelings involved.

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