When you hear this term, what does it mean to you?
To me, Side by Side Managing is all about leading while working directly in line with your staff. It means that you are their manager, leader, and coach, however it also means that when the time is right, you make decisions together, as one.
A good example of side by side managing is asking for input and feedback while working on a particular project or client proposal. As manager it is easy to push our ideas and thoughts on to an employee, therefore triggering them to listen and do exactly what we say. Often times I find myself asking the employee if they agree with me, or if they think I’m accurate in my thinking. If I’m getting the blurred eyes or a particular piece of body language that says, “No, you’re an idiot” then I make sure to pull back and ask the questions further.
As an employee it is easy to take the exact directive while thinking your manager is not accurate in their thinking. If you lead by telling and not by conversing about the issues at hand, you are not side by side managing.
Now I realize there are moments when you to manage by giving directive, especially if you have someone who simply has not followed order or doesn’t have a clue to the task at hand. We all have worked with those individuals, but never underestimate the feedback an employee may have.