"Human Relations"


By

Shalini Aggarwal
Lecturer (Business Communication)
K.R. Mangalam Global Institute of Management
New Delhi
 


A Manager must not imagine for one single moment that Human Relations is just one chapter of a book on Management. Not at all. It is the whole book, because without it, one can never get anything done. Working satisfactorily with people is not part of a management job. It is the entire job. And it is certainly not the job of the personnel department. It's every Manager's job because working with machines, materials and everything else in an organization can only be done through people. Money, materials, machines are the sinews of every industrial concern. But a manager only achieves his objectives through people. That's why it is said that dealing with people– their knowledge, their peculiarities, and their temper – is one of the main jobs. Management is not a number of major activities of which one is human relations. Management is human relations.

While there is everything to be said for sympathy, diplomacy and patience, one must never forget that kindness must be backed by a determination to see that a job is well done. Be sympathetic, be understanding. But let the people know that a highest standard of work is expected and there is no compromise on this. One should make it clear that behind the velvet glove methods there is a steely determination to get a task done well.

A number of bosses shut themselves up in their nice air- conditioned offices and never get around to see what is happening around them. It is far easier to sign a memo than to get on to two feet and look around. There is no substitute for personal contact among individuals. People often dislike people whom they do not know.

Criticism just for the sake of criticism is unnecessary and demoralizing. And it always gets to the person concerned. If one cannot say something good, it is usually best to say nothing at all.

Promoting people is one of the most difficult and most important tasks of management. Step one man up and twenty others are bound to be disappointed, and will ask," What about me?" "Why was I not promoted to fill that vacancy?" "What has he got that I haven't?" Human nature being what it is, it happens much oftener than you think, and it happens everywhere, and at every level. And it causes any amount of heart burning, and it can be most demoralizing. The best answer is to take good care: one must make sure that when someone is promoted, no one's claim is forgotten. One must be scrupulously fair.

"Hey, you!" This is said much often than one can imagine – and to people who have been in the same organization for years. How demoralizing this is! Somebody's name is the most important word in the whole language for that particular person. If a manager cannot even bother to remember a name, they in turn, will certainly not going to bother about him or her or the organization. Conversely, calling somebody by name, somebody with whom one normally had little contact, can have a tonic effect.

People don't like being treated like puppets that can be played around with. They don't like the supervisor to do all the thinking and planning. They like to participate as well. And when groups of people are working together, there are areas where ideas clash and then there is anger and frustration. It is astonishing to see the damage that a few angry words can do. A smooth running relationship of a lifetime can be ruined – all because of bad communication skills.

Management is not the direction of things – it is the development of people. Whether there are 5000 people working or 500 or just 5 in an organization, it is essential to know how to get along with them if the organization wants to run properly; and that is why skill at handling people is so important.
 


Shalini Aggarwal
Lecturer (Business Communication)
K.R. Mangalam Global Institute of Management
New Delhi
 

Source: E-mail December 11, 2007

          

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