Finweek English Edition - - ON THE MONEY -

South African work­places can be par­tic­u­larly com­pli­cated when it comes to manag­ing peo­ple. A height­ened sen­si­tiv­ity is de­manded from man­agers, says CB Ta­lent’s Asanda Gcoyi. “To avoid con­flict and to bet­ter man­age your team mem­bers, you need a clear un­der­stand­ing of their dif­fer­ent back­grounds and who they are. A blan­ket ap­proach won’t work.”

This does not mean you need to be­come their best friend, or get in­volved in their lives. But man­agers need to move be­yond the per­func­tory greet­ing in the hall­way, and ac­tu­ally spend time with team mem­bers to un­der­stand their view of the world, says Gcoyi.

This will lead to greater sen­si­tiv­ity and defuse po­ten­tial con­flict – for ex­am­ple, with a fre­quent bone of con­tention like com­pas­sion­ate leave. If you don’t have an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for a col­league’s ru­ral back­ground and cul­tural val­ues, you won’t un­der­stand why they have to take ex­tended leave to bury their grand­mother’s sis­ter.

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