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Tuesday
Aug232011

Management: Make Sure Time and Your Coworkers Are on Your Side ...

           

Shameful bossIn a previous post, we let our readers know that we’re starting on the long journey into the world of freelance writing. So far, the entire endeavor has been both a huge success (by our standards) and a great learning experience resulting in several pieces being published at various outlets. It really has been a hoot and we’ve had the opportunity to write articles concerning all sorts of things of interest. Among those is CAD management.

Now there are already so many great voices in the CAD world about CAD management, but we’ve always thought that these talented people leaned towards the actual management of drawing and software related issues. Our interests lie in the management and efficiency of CAD professionals. So naturally, we were excited to have get our views out in the July issue of AUGIWorld to give their readers a taste of what we think it means to be a CAD manager.

Of course … we have more to say.

The More

Office workerAlthough we touched on so many of the themes we think are so important for a CAD manager to understand in that AUGIWorld article, we did not cover one. It really is very simple and you may even think it is obvious, but we think it deserves to be noted. In fact, we think it may be one of the most overlooked skills in management (CAD and otherwise) in the workplace today.

Four little words that can change your working relationship with others and possibly with yourself: Respect other people’s time.

Over the years, we’ve heard so many stories of office where people had trouble accomplishing all they could. We’ve seen projects suffer in quality. We’ve heard of arguments and anger that simmers and yes, even people who quit or are fired out of frustration. All too often, we boil these situations down to one party (normally beginning with a manager) who doesn’t have respect for other people’s time.

“But I do respect people’s time and, besides, they work for me. This is their job!”

What We Do Wrong

Yes and no. It is true that nobody let me reiterate NOBODY has to work anywhere. In a society like America’s we all have the freedom to quit our jobs and our jobs have the freedom to fire us. Having said that, nobody deserves to have anything as precious as his or her time wasted or abused. I am sure we are all guilty of doing something along the following lines:

  • You go to a coworker’s desk and ask them to come back to your office to discuss something and then promptly take a call while motioning for them to wait.
  • You walk past the copier and ask your secretary/assistant to make copies for you.
  • You wait until 4:55 to suddenly ask for major revisions to something you should have looked at days ago, but barely got to.
  • You are constantly in “hair on fire” mode, setting scheduled tasks aside to arrange your team to handle the latest emergency.
  • Overtime is a common thing, but there are still weeks where there is nothing to do around the office.

We bet that everyone is guilty of this sort of thing. Oh sure, maybe your details differ, but the base problem is the same. You do not stop to think, “That person is busy with work or life items that are just as important to them and I should not interrupt that.” You did not make your own copies even though you pass the copier repeatedly. You did not review the plan set even though it was on your desk for days. You did not let something wait until tomorrow even though it’s already waited for weeks.

Stop Hurting Yourself

Wits endOddly enough, your coworkers are not the only victims of these incidents. You are the biggest victim. You’ve allowed your own disrespect for you own time to allow you to become a mismanaged, deadline fighting, and poorly respected fire marshal instead of an admired CAD manager. You’ve put yourself at the deadline too many times because you let other have no respect for your time. You’ve worked past 5:00 because someone called with an “emergency” and instead of managing it correctly you put in front of scheduled work thus pushing your coworkers to work late and lose respect for your management skills.

Your own lack of respect for your own precious time has both led you to believe that no one’s time is precious and to make you seem less able than you really are. Respect and admiration in the workplace are so heavily based on results and perception, and yours are low.

All because you had no respect for other people’s time, yours most of all ...

- KFD - 

Image credits: Homero Chapa, Damien Van Holten, Ariel de Silva Parreira, and Now and Zen Photography

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