During the last year, I have had the opportunity to work as both a manager as well an educator. There are, of course, several differences between academic and professional environments.
However, during this time I also have found that there are several important things you can bring from teaching to a daily routine as a manager: in both situations you must meet the expectations of a group of people, and you have the responsibility of giving these teams of people specific tools that will allow them to grow professionally.
Here are 10 important things that teaching experience helps to keep in mind when delivering good work as a manager:
- Planning is fundamentally necessary in order to manage time, coordinate and motivate a group of people in providing key deliverables in a timely manner.
- Reactivity and adaptability are common traits in permanently changing situations. In particular, it is in this kind of moments when your decision making capabilities and credibility are put into play.
- Neither managers nor teachers have to know everything. Be humble! (However be sure to know where to find the solutions and to admit what you do not know so you can learn!)
- Monologues and arrogance are very boring and counterproductive. It is better to promote discussion among the group to facilitate the free exchange of ideas and perspectives. You can learn from people that have a lot more experience, and it is an opportunity to rediscover the enthusiasm and creativity brought in by less seasoned colleagues.
- The maintaining of a global purpose while ensuring a connection with each individual is essential. Let’s not forget that companies are made of people, not robots. We are not in Ford’s times anymore.
- Both managers and educators have to be effective communicators. Their communication has to be coherent, transparent and effective.
- It is important to deliver concrete results. You may be working in a relatively long-term project, however, demonstrating that what you are working together for leads to incremental and short-term results is an excellent way to motivate your team.
- We have just stressed the importance of delivering short-term results; however, in order to achieve long-term results, it is important to always have a vision and a course to pursue.
- Keeping your ethics works. Authenticity and Honesty are best friends with Confidence. Confidence is married to Credibility.
- Remember that companies or universities may choose you, but your staff /students are the ones that will be able to judge whether you are good as a manager or not…
As you can see from the above points there is definitely a thing or two that managers can learn from educators!