It's often stated that the middle-manager is caught between a rock and a hard place; they have top-down pressure from top management and bottom-up pressure from the employees


Everybody deals with this differently; some feel constantly pressured, some relay information unconsciously between top management and employees and some connect, communicate and grow

The latter is of course the interesting ones - most middle managers have an aspiration to become more, to advance to senior management so let's look at what differentiate the ones who advance from the crowd

First, they understand that two-way communication is key; they meet and talk instead of sending memos and emails; they understand the importance of spending time with their colleagues, to explain decisions and to gather feedback

Second, their integrity is impeccable and they have a profound understanding that talking with 'two tongues' does nothing good and only contributes to a unhealthy work environment - they force connectivity in the sense that employees complaining about others are asked to deal with the ones they complain about directly

Conflicts are unavoidable but needs to be solved between the parties, not through ad hoc meetings in the corridors not involving all parties - good middle managers understands this so they connect and communicate

Third, they thrive on change; we all need to - change is unavoidable and if you as manager does not want to change, you're forced to stand and watch the World pass you by; many employees are reluctant to change but as manager, you need to understand it's inevitable and lead the way

Fourth, colleagues are seen as that; colleagues, and not as threats for future advancements - middle managers who feel other middle managers, or even strong employees, are a threat to their own advancement rarely achieves good results in the long run

After all, achieving excellent results in an organisation will always be a team work, and team work cannot exist if you as manager see your colleagues as a threat