Monthly Discussion: Management (part 2)

Upside Down Roller Coaster CC Austin Kirk

Upside Down Roller Coaster CC Austin Kirk

To continue our discussion around management this month, we’d like to examine the idea that management happens in multiple directions. That is, management happens down (managers manage their staff), sideways (team members manage the rest of their team), upwards (individuals manage their managers) and outward (managing library volunteers).

Are you, or have you ever been, a manager? Remember that you don’t have to limit this discussion to managing staff in libraries. You may have managed staff in other types of organisations, you may have managed volunteers, or you may have managed your friends or family in a project.

If you’ve ever been in the position of organising other people in order to get something done, you’ve managed people.

Managing down-

  • What is your management style? What are those core values that drive that style?
  • What are the qualities you wish all of your team members possessed?
  • Can managers and their subordinate be friends?

Further reading

Managing sideways-

  • Have you had the opportunity to manage a colleague (maybe within a project)?
  • Have you developed external relationships that require management?
  • How does managing sideways differ from just being a good team member?

Further reading

Managing up-

  • How do you get the most out of your relationship with your manager?
  • Have you consciously managed upwards?
  • Do you think managing up is worth it?

Further reading

Managing out-

  • What are some of the challenges to managing volunteers?
  • How do you recruit and retain your volunteers?
  • Other than working with the ILN do you volunteer with any other professional organizations?

Further reading

We hope this gives you plenty of material to discuss with your partner, and we encourage you to share your views in the comments below. If you’d like to take the discussion to Twitter remember to use the hashtag #InterLibNet.

We’d love to hear your thoughts

One comment

  1. Being a program coordinator with the ILN brings with it some interesting management challenges. There are 4 program coordinators, and we work collaboratively – none of us is the boss. But we do delegate to each other and hold each other accountable.

    We also manage a team of country coordinators, but these are people who are all around the world and who, in most cases, we’ve never met. We ask them to assist us with promoting the ILN and communicating with participants, but they are volunteers – we need to be aware that we can’t ask too much of them.

    The only way this works is if we assume that all of us, including our country coordinators, want to do this work. We provide the support and information needed to do the work, and then we step back and let each person in this team perform their tasks. We don’t closely manage the individuals, as this would be impossible in this geographically diverse group. This management style wouldn’t work in all organisations, but it suits a network of international volunteers.

    -Alyson Dalby, ILN Program Coordinator

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