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Managing from One Step Back

CAD Managers work in an environment where they can get their work done by taking a hands on approach.  They do the actual work themselves.  They are charged with customizing or standardizing a process and they develop the outline and procedures to do so.  There is a need for custom content and they create it.

But there is also a portion of the job that requires them to take one step back.  To move away from the work and motivate others to actually do it.  They become an encourager. They spur others on to get things done.  It is one step back because they are moving others to actions that they have planned themselves.  They get others to follow guidelines that they produced.

In this role the CAD Manager works through others.  They are not coming in direct contact with the work, but they are directly coming in contact with those who do.

Here are some tips for making these interactions more productive:

Make it Simple – Keep it Simple

Make sure that your instructions are clear, easy and correct.  If it is a procedure – check it before you distribute it.  Verify that it works.  If it is a component, make sure it is perfect and proper to the task.  Don’t over complicate the task.

Enlighten Others

Pass on the reasons why you are asking them to do something in a specific way.  Don’t let the standard be silently commanding something that appears confusing.Give them the reason that you have written or communicated what you have.  Explain it – even if it seems obvious.  Don’t use terms like “because I said so”.

Encourage Others

Do this by complimenting them for getting it completed and correct.  Just short little phrases like, “that is perfect” or “wow, you picked that up quick”.  And thank them for doing a good job.

Stay One Step Back

Don’t take over the work.  One of the hardest things to do is to watch someone do something incorrectly.  In all areas of our lives we think of ways that people should have done something differently.  We watch TV and comment on the wrong choices people make and what they should have done to get it right.  If we can – we want to jump in and show them how it’s done.  In the CAD world, we do that also.  So, when you are explaining something, keep them in the drivers seat.  Fight the temptation to grab the mouse.  You may have to show them the first time, but after that keep them in control of the machine and provide instruction from over their shoulder.

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