I had the wonderful experience yesterday to meet Dr Gaynor Macdonald, she is an anthropologist. Yes, I wasn’t too sure what it meant either but it actually means “The study of humankind.” Our conversation focused on managers and a couple of interesting things Gaynor told me which I felt compelled to share with you.

I asked her the question, “What are three things that managers can change to make the workplace a better place from an anthropologist’s perspective?” The strange thing was that Gaynor’s reply wasn’t anything fancy or something I couldn’t understand. In fact, it was simple and smart!

The three things are:

  1. If you are a manager and have direct reports – don’t always expect members of your team to come to your office when you have something to share. To build goodwill and not resentment, go to their office. Or alternatively, select a neutral place to meet if you have something important to say. By always calling them to your office it sends a message of hierarchical domination instead of being part of a team.
  2. Stop sending emails when you work a short distance from your colleague. Take the opportunity to get up on occasion and go to speak to them. Whilst it may not be as time effective it will enhance your working relationship exponentially. To work with other people you need to be “present.” Even stop just to say “hello” to your colleague without a reason – makes people feel special and part of something bigger. Show interest in their family and things that are important to them. Always acknowledge them when they have done a good job in person.
  3. Create a safe environment where people feel well managed but not micro-managed. Inspire leadership by giving people the ability to get things done without constantly having to resort to the authority of management.

We also discussed, what does management success look like? I suppose this would mean something different to every person you may meet. Our morning discussion landed on the idea of “Adaptability” – riding with various waves. Life is about having a breadth, depth and quality of relationships that is appetising but also emotionally fulfilling. To achieve this requires adaptability as change is constant. Management teams that display adaptability will trump those who don’t. As human beings, we are looking for a work environment which will turnaround the often humdrum existence of 9 am to 5 pm and give it some much-needed zing!

Why doesn’t management inspire people more to get united in purpose? Small things really make a big difference. Often the best people leave simply because they are fed up. People have a right to be well managed. Good people often leave bad managers! What do you think?

Finally, in my opinion, great managers should also be great leaders, they need to do the following to get my vote:

  • Give people a possibility to live into, not an expectation to live up to!
  • Possess a generosity of spirit and share it frequently, and
  • Lead from wherever they stand.

They never doubt the capacity of their people to realise whatever they are dreaming.

Recently, I have sensed that you enjoy my work so if that is the case let me know loud and clear. By Liking, commenting and sharing I will continue to follow my bliss and hopefully give you something to think about. That’s really important to me. If you want to follow me on LinkedIn or twitter @odilefaludi #teamfollowback or on Instagram – that would be great.



“I help people not only open the door of prospects but their minds which result in more happy customers!”


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