Handling Higher Qualified Staff - CiteHR
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Business Development, Employee Relations,
Ash Mathew
Recruitments, Training`
Ravi Ranjan
Mktg & Hr
Industrial Relation
Hr Executive
+1 Other

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I am a graduate mechanical engineer, working as project manager in oil & gas, steel structure etc. Some times during bigger projects I have to manage a team of more than 1000 persons, including the engineers from different discipline and different nationality.
Some times I face the problem to handle the engineers in my team who are more qualified than me like Engineers with MBA, B.Tech & M.Tech. or some times B.TECH with much more experienced than me.
suggest some good practical ideas to solve the problems and issues with those subordinates.:confused:
How I Should communicate and lead them with out hearting their emotions.

hi mr. nadeem arshad .
nice to hear from you that you are handling more qualified people than you and i also appraise you,it shows that you must be having a cut over rest ...so you have been designated at this post..
let me suggest you that its a time to prove your leadership ability,a time to accept challenge ..a time to keep you motivated ,a time to handle calmly such qualified people under you ..one thing i will strongly suggest that never let them feel that you are not capable to handle them ,keep them happy,motivated and maintain cohesiveness that means team spirit ,appraise them when they do best ,guide them when they need help and even learn from them....showing yourself the part of team always...it's a time to show why you deserve this post..a time to prove yourself ..show u are really the best .
ok best of luck .hope to hear from you soon
bye see you

Ravi Ranjan. thanks for your sugessions, actually I have some drawbacks which I accept personally,
1- 6 years before I Joined this company as a estimation engineer but just after a year on the recommendations of some of my seniors the management given me this position and I recieved a best performance award aft completing my first project, but some peoples think this due to buttering and spooning, Now 5 years passed and it is well known that i can handle big projects.
2- I am lagging behind in Emotional controls, when I hear some false gossip about me, I am getting disturbed and some are taking the advantage of that.
3- Now after 5 years I want to move one step ahead but it doesnt seems to be possible due to internal politics.
4- I am planning to take a short break, and make my self prepared for the next step, I already joined an MBA for professionals, I will take some courses on personality improvement,

Hi Nadeem:
I have a question for you! Taking MBA course does it solve all your problems? Are they not respecting you because of not holding higher degrees than others? If i am you, i would spend more time in understanding their needs, their problems & address them rather than wasting time in MBA. Practical is always good, papers work can never beat it.
Importantly, do not spend much time in manaing politics. Just ignore them, DO WHAT YOU SUPPOSE TO DO!. This means you are responsible for the project, do the activities releated to that.
Taking Personality development course is good.
Being emotional is always good. but, should not be an emotional idiot!

Dear Nadeem,

Your apprehension is bit misplaced. Acquisition of qualification is one thing and execution of knowledge at workplace is another thing. Please remember Bill Gates as well as respected late Dhirubhai Ambani, both were undergraduates. However, IIMs and IITians also worked under them. Managing the knowledgeable is prerequisite of leadership of 21st century.

You can manage the more qualified by:

a) Acquiring all the soft skills whatever you know.

b) Encouraging them to put on practice the knowledge that they gained during their B Tech course or MBA course. My experience shows that no B Tech puts on use more than 25% of his knowledge in practice. Once someone starts doing it, it will set the competition and others will follow the suit.

c) Never forget age old idioms and proverbs of your language or any languages that you know. Management science or any other science for that matter, is not above proverbs. Designing our work style keeping in mind all the proverbs itself is a big challenge. Once you do that see how your juniors start respecting you.

d) Lastly but not the least, you must improve your verbal and written communication skills. Most of the techies, may have sound technical knowledge but lack these skills. With your communication skills, you can bring them to heels.


Dinesh V Divekar

Dear Nadeem,

I dont think we would be able to provide valuable suggestion unless you let us know if there were any situations where it was obvious to you that they were feeling bad about it. If you could help us know if anything like that existed, what was the situation and how they reacted to you, I guess it will be worthwhile in providing some ways to tackle this situation.

If this is your perceived notion that they "might" feel bad in future, I guess its better you continue working the way you were doing things until this day.

Regarding the following points you had mentioned above - "recieved a best performance award aft completing my first project, but some peoples think this due to buttering and spooning, Now 5 years passed and it is well known that i can handle big projects"

What matters to you? Your job and financial hike, or others feelings? (and these others are people who dont really matter much to you in your personal life)
You know how you reached here right? Please note that every successful person will have atleast 10 people pointing their fingers at him / her. Actually this is what that pushes him further. Leave behind all such thoughts. Even if you try being good to them - whats the point? They are plain jealous. Just make sure you dont treat them back that way, thats the sign of a person with strong leadership skills. You should always treat them back positively and do the best to help them (when requested alone)

"I am lagging behind in Emotional controls, when I hear some false gossip about me, I am getting disturbed and some are taking the advantage of that."

I am pleased to know that you are aware that you lack emotional control. If you have reached this stage of understanding, then it means you have reached the level to change it. Dont let emotional issues worry you. After all - gossip exists everywhere. If no one gossips about you, probably it means that you are not doing well. When someone is "going great heights"...its the general tendency to find faults.. why care? You have the proper direction ahead, dont look back, infact dont react... people will then gradually lose interest in gossiping, becuase after a certain point even they should think of growing up the career ladder.

Now after 5 years I want to move one step ahead but it doesnt seems to be possible due to internal politics.

Its your mind that is blocking you - treat your mind to not react to such statements from people, you will very soon start seeing only the path ahead. Be this person who has a goal, and will fight until he reaches it.

I am planning to take a short break, and make my self prepared for the next step, I already joined an MBA for professionals, I will take some courses on personality improvement

Everything will be fine if you can train your mind to just look at work as work, and not life. Its just a means for you to go to the next step. Have a bigger dream and use these jobs only as steps to go higher. People will try everything to pull you down - ignore... keep moving.


Hi nadeem,
First of all u r leading 1000 people, so u r not a supervisor or manager
U R a Leader
So u must develop leadership skills,
please go thru some leadership techniqs books
also please find out the talented persons in your group &
give some responsibliity to them.
N. Srinivasan

Hey Nadeem,

Excellent suggestion already given by experts.

I am too working for a project engineer consultant, and guess what, the project manager here is just a BE, and has been halding a staff of more than 50,000 plus since last 20 years. All experts in their own feild.

His skills are just "Managing Human". He never leave an apportunity to let them know that how important they are for the company because of their qualification and expertise and that the company is counting on them.

Everybody in the company wants to resolve his issue only and only through him. Guess what drags them...his "Listning skills, resonable delayed management tactice for any problem, and Human Management Skills, meeting them as often on the site, having lunch or dinner with them on the site etc". Just employee Relations.

Infact, I am having a tough time now due his good good attitude, as staff are still approaching him, rather then me. He he he.....I am learning all this skills and am sure you will also...

All the best,

Thanks all for your valuable suggestions.:idea:

Dear Ash
You asked for an example so let me explain you one.
During one of my prestigious projects(as a project manager) which is already entered in guinnes book of world record, I Found a qualified and talented engineer Mr. Xyz(B.E Mech & MBA) working as a supervisor in our company, So I offerd him to join my project team, Given him the responsibility as a project engineer. and after looking his intrests I upgraded his position and send recommendations to increase his salary.

Our client for this project was a German company and the project manager was a very experienced German guy.
During a visit to our premises where the project was under progress, he came to an orgument with our supervisor and later with the other guys and shouted and expelled them out of the work.
I Considered this as a serious issue and interference in our works, and wrote a serious letter to the Project manager and Cc. to projects director. that not to repeat this again and in case of any problem just communicate with the Project manager and project engineer.
Mr. Xyz found this as an apportunty and spoken to the client(proj mgr) that Mr. Nadeem dont know how to handle these setuations because he is simple B.E. If I was in his position I was going to handle this by communicating on phone.
So the Client PM approached to our higher management with the recommendations to remove Nadeem and make Mr. Xyz as project manager for this project.
After all nothing happened and Mr. Xyz again send back to his original position BUT I came into highlights due to my non managerial qualifications.
(hope you all understood the story as well as the problem)

Suggession I recieved by all are very very impressive. Specially by Ash mathew, Ravi Ranjan and N. Srinivasan.

Mr. ukmitra. I am really excited to hear some thing more about your Project Manager.

Mr.Dinesh V Divekar ( Management & Behavioural Training Consultant,) could you please guide me about any personality enhancement cources in Delhi. as well as some on line courses.

Ash, You wrote some thing for emotional control also. but blieve me. It is my draw back that during the meetings if I Dont like something everyone can read from my face. Actually my face is like an open book and every one can read my face that, I AM angry / Exited / Tired / unhappy / Confused / not agree / feeling bored / not intrested etc, etc..... How to control this I really dont know.:huh:

Thanks and Regards
Nadeem Arshad

I think it is important to remember that many people are leading others they may be more qualified in certain areas. It is important to remember that a team is made of all types of individuals - one with a great amount of experience and knowledge, ones that are just starting, and ones that have the ability to lead and help move a task along.

You should make sure you always allow your leadership abilities to show, and never all yourself to be publically frustrated. Especially regarding rumors. You do not want to publically scold, but make sure that you address the problem causers in private. You should work closely with their department managers for support. I assume you are in a matrix type environment.

Overall remaining collected is the only thing you can do. You dont always have to have the answer, but make sure you can get what your team needs, and give them the praise in public they deserve. Don't try to make them feel like you know everything. They will respect you for your willingness to gain from them.

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