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The New Managers

According to HR consultants and specialists in the recruitment field, the new trend sweeping through management circles, snidely referred to as ‘Manager 2.0,’ is the socially adroit and diplomatic manager, who rather than managing in an authoritarian style is instead a unifier and includer, using terms like “ together, we…” rather than “I want.…”

Briefly, the passage is from strict hierarchical vertical structures to more horizontal networks. The old manager was expected to organize, direct, set objectives, communicate clearly and enforce the hierarchy. Today’s manager needs to be a coach and an inspirational force.

The new manager is expected to have or to cultivate ‘soft skills’ – relational and emotional — and to be a superb communicator and able to elicit the best from the group he manages.

Human Resources professionals say that professional skills and methodologies acquired in management schools or continuing education count for only about 50% in a successful

career. What now counts for at least the other 50% are social skills, assets of character, ethical and spiritual skills, which are difficult to teach and usually acquired in a personal manner (through one’s upbringing or early education).

Some HR experts say that the contemporary context of globalization and mobility has both flattened hierarchies and increased complexities, while the demands on managers have risen greatly. With the increasing size of the managed, the increasing competition in a global market, multicultural partners, etc., managers need to be able to coach, inspire, and give meaning to the work, as well being able to plan, anticipate and organize.
The need for strong communication skills has become paramount since to coach and inspire, one needs to be a convincing communicator.

Social Psychologists in the HR world claim that the ‘level’ expected of managers today is much higher than that of 10 years ago. And too many managers remain ‘specialists’. In the semantics of HR, this means that the managers need to rise above the details to be able to see the larger picture and give a sense of purpose to the team. To this writer, it would appear that the ‘big picture’ was always the responsibility of managerial staff.

The manager-coach of today ‘accompanies’ the team in the resolution of problems and is a facilitator, encouraging the staff and placing weight on training, experience, and staff retention.

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