Managers spend a lot of time focusing on managing “down” – guiding their teams and energizing results that align with organizational goals. A recent study from McKinsey highlights the importance of also managing “sideways” with colleagues and “up” with higher-level leaders. In fact, the combination of managing up and sideways has a 50% higher impact on business success than managing down does. And when it comes to individual career success, managing sideways and up is twice as important as managing down.
I come from a family in which forgiveness abounds but apologies are much less common. In fact, my younger brother owns and proudly wears a t-shirt that says “I MAY BE WRONG BUT I DOUBT IT...” (Just for the record, that doesn’t even come close to an apology.)
The most important and powerful meetings are one on one. Nothing can accelerate the quality of a manager’s relationships with team members faster than one-on-one time. Here are a few statistics to consider:
- Although 89% of people want to meet with their managers one on one at least once per month, only 73% actually do. (source: Ken Blanchard Companies)
Conflict exists. There’s no getting around that fact. People frequently turn to their manager to referee. In fact, research from The Ken Blanchard Companies suggests 64% of people wish they could talk about problems with colleagues “often” or “all the time” in one-on-one conversations with their managers. When they get asked to mediate conflict, managers can make things better…or worse.
For some managers, navigating one-on-one relationships with direct reports may feel like a tricky needle to thread. You get all kinds of advice with a common theme that has something to do with “a line” and where you should draw it.