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How to Manage People Who Know More Than You

Learn From Them

Your employees also had a first day and they know how it feels to be the fish out of water.

So during your first few weeks, sit with each of your employees, watch their daily routines, and ask about what they’re doing and talking about. They’ll enjoy demonstrating their knowledge, and you’ll learn more than you would from a training manual.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Manage People Who Know More Than You

How to Manage People Who Know More Than You

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-manage-people-who-know-more-than-you

themuse.com

4

Key Ideas

Give Them Your Respect

Don’t assume a defensive position towards your employees or extrapolate that they’re going to be jealous, disrespectful, and bitter toward you. 

Let go of your assumptions, check your ego at the door, and convey how much you respect and value your employees so they will be more accepting of you. Remember, it’s only combining skills that you can move the company forward. 

Be Honest

If someone asks you something that you don’t know the answer to, be honest. By providing an answer that you think is correct but isn’t—you (and your employee) could end up in an even worse position, and you’ll quickly lose your team’s respect.

But don’t just say you don’t know. Tell your employees that you’ll find out from someone who does. 

Learn From Them

Your employees also had a first day and they know how it feels to be the fish out of water.

So during your first few weeks, sit with each of your employees, watch their daily routines, and ask about what they’re doing and talking about. They’ll enjoy demonstrating their knowledge, and you’ll learn more than you would from a training manual.

Ask For Their Feedback

Employees who have been with a company for more than 10 years have inevitably seen processes change time and again. They’ve seen what works, what needs improvement, and what will never change.

Ask experienced team members for their opinions and ideas—they’ll often lead to issues and concerns that you hadn’t thought of and even solutions to them. But don’t let it turn into fruitless ranting.

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Social Astuteness

Aim to become something of a “corporate anthropologist,” observing the relationships between co-workers and superiors and paying attention to informal social networks.

By observing the communication and relationships that surround you at work, you might discover that instead of hiding when the team gets competitive, you would do better to hang in there, go toe-to-toe with them, and ultimately earn their respect.

Interpersonal Influence

Look for people who are not necessarily in high-level roles, but who have the ability to make things happen. Who are the movers and shakers in your organization, and what can you learn from how they get things done?

For example, you might discover that before voicing an opposing opinion in a global teleconference, it pays to have influential backers present. 

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Treat Everyone with Respect

When you're building a team or company, you simply can't afford to lose great people. Treat them with respect and you're one step closer to keeping them on your team long-term.

Encourage Dissent

To do great things, you and your people need to consistently think outside the box. You need people who feel very comfortable disagreeing with you, trying new things, tossing out new ideas, and being okay with the fact that several of their ideas may turn out to be outright awful.

Make the Final Decision and Move On

If you are the manager, make final decisions. And to do so decisively: evaluate all the options in front of you, hear and absorb everyone's arguments, and ultimately make the final call, with arguments. 

Even if you've expressed dissent as an employee, it'll benefit you to let your manager make their call and then focus on what's next, rather than staying preoccupied with past decisions.

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Be Consistent

You must reward the same behaviors every time they appear, discourage the same behaviors when they appear and treat every member of your team with an equal, level-headed view.

Communicate Properly

How you communicate with your team can dictate your eventual success. To avoid miscommunication and to keep your team updated, always strive for clarity, accuracy, and thoroughness on your communication.

Aim To Work as a Team

Have your team work for something together.

Setting goals just for the department or one individual breeds isolation and a limited mentality. Instead, give staffers a unified focus and purpose, to inspire them together.

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