Situation Management is an art. It is the art to handle any situation effectively to ensure the objective is achieved rather than wasting energies in ‘unwanted’ activities. Is it so difficult to manage any situation? It is not really a question of a situation being easy or difficult to manage. Rather, it is the approach of every individual in effectively handling any situation, and thereby qualifying to become an effective ‘Situation Manager.’
We come across many times at the workplace, in society or at home, discussions unnecessarily dragging on for a longer time than necessary, with or without arriving at any conclusion. The reason for this is mainly because both the participants and the anchor failed to be good ‘Situation Managers’.
In one of the meetings where I was anchoring at the workplace, we had many participants including few senior persons from the leadership team. During the discussion, two senior people were bent on putting forward their views instead of listening to the younger people’s perspective.
At one point of time, when I realised that the discussion was not progressing the way it should, I had to step in and be a wee bit firm to bring back the discussion on the right track.
There are few elements we need to apply to be successful at effective ‘Situation Management’. These elements are relevant for the senior leaders, the younger work force and the anchor as well.
1. One should have the patience to listen to what others say, irrespective of whether we agree or disagree. There is no need to give a counter argument. If one is not in sync with others’ views, this should not trigger a reactive approach. On the contrary, one should make conscious efforts in listening and understanding other persons’ views. If not convinced, one should have the maturity to ask for clarifications, rather than taking the reactive approach. Listening is an art. One should develop the habit of listening in all situations with an open mind and not with any pre-conceived notions.
2. When people make some suggestions or articulate their views in any forum, they have to substantiate their statements with adequate data. There should not be any rudeness in their articulation or a display of big brother attitude or one-upmanship. There should always be room for seeking clarifications and there’s no need to be on the defensive, for the comfort factor is of paramount importance in any discussion.
3. The anchor should have complete grip and control and should always bear in mind the value of time for all the participants, for it is his duty to conduct the meeting effectively.
But it must be emphasised that being a good ‘Situation Manager’ is an art that all participants need to develop whatever their role. What is important is that the ‘end objective’ for which the meeting was called must be met.
Situation Management is applicable not only at the workplace but in every situation in our life. Effective management of a situation is possible only if everyone is aware of the ground realities, the strategy is defined and need-based, the emotional behaviour of people around is respected, and finally a proper blue print to achieve the end objective of the task is in place.
Last but not the least, effective optimisation of all types of resources is very important in managing any situation by ensuring that there is no leakage of resources and energies.
Ramesh Rajaraman with 40 years’ experience in Information Technology worked in leadership roles in top IT companies, and as CIO in a multi-speciality hospital in Chennai. A blogger and trainer, he loves music, trekking, travel and reading.