As the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down, as we shifted from working offline, and studying offline to all tasks online. Join us in exploring how Deepa Bhushan, Director of CP Goenka International School, paved the way for her team and her students. She got featured in the Top 100 Great People Managers of 2021 list by Great Manager Institute ®, published in Forbes India, for demonstrating excellent leadership practices. With schools being closed due to the pandemic, her team had to evolve and adapt to these drastic changes and implement effective strategies.

“Having managed several teams, I have seen that when you provide the right direction, delegation and support, the team can achieve their optimum potential.”

Deepa conducted several activities for her team in which each member participated and had a “buy-in”. Each member took ownership of their part which resulted in tangible benefits. These activities helped them build a positive collaborative work environment and increased employee commitment. They developed better decision-making and problem-solving skills. It helped her team become aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Thus allowing them to optimize their performance while ensuring the development of the organization.

We work together towards finding a solution.

Socratic questioning is one of the practices followed by Deepa and her team, it is a way of classifying information into what they are aware of and what they are not aware of and further exploring the implications and consequences of taking a particular decision. They use a 5 step process for solving problems, i.e., Identify, Plan, Do, Review, and Adapt.

Learning how to cope with setbacks and failure is an important aspect of efficient working.

While it is important for managers to be encouraging towards their employees, it is important for them to help solve problems and embrace mistakes or failures in a healthy manner. Deepa creates time for self-reflection for the team, to rethink and process what they have experienced or observed, make sense of it and how they might apply the learning they have had in another situation.

I believe that each team member should be given a voice and a way to contribute to the success of the organisation.

This practice focuses on collaboration, brainstorming and peer learning and decisions are taken as a team, either through co-creation or consensus. The team members are organized into small groups. They are given questions or concerns to solve or asked to brainstorm ideas or work on the implementation of ideas.

Great Managers Institute® is on a mission to bring out the best in industry leaders. In our series ”Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast and Everything Else for Lunch”, we share the best workplace practices of India’s Top 100 Great People Managers of 2021.

According to GMI, this is what we can learn from Deepa Bhushan’s story:

  1. A leader should focus on creating a collaborative environment
  2. Failures or mistakes must be perceived as opportunities for improvement
  3. Each employee must be given a voice

If you believe your leadership skills are at par with the best practices shared in this story, participate in Great People Manager Study 2022 and get a chance to feature in India’s Top 100 Great People Managers list. We are eager to hear your story. Register here!

Cheers to great leaders!