Last month, we looked into the role of a Client Service Associate, what it is that they do, what their working day looks like and how they advance their career within Dialectica. Today, with help from our Client Service Senior Manager — Americas, Denia Pavlatou, we get a deep understanding of what’s coming next.
1. Based on your experience, what skills are required to switch from being a good team player to becoming a great manager?
From my perspective there is one particular skill that stands out and upon which our Client Service team is built: empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Our Client Service team is thriving because all its members start their career from the same position and follow the same steps to growth and development. From the Associate Managers to the Managers and the Vice Presidents, we all get our teams and we are able to experience things from their frame of reference, because we’ve all been in their shoes. From having made the same mistakes at the very beginning and feeling overwhelmed when the time to manage our very own teams comes to getting involved in company-wide projects and leading teams of dozens of people, we’ve all been and will be through it all.
Achieving and exceeding targets and having excellent performance is definitely a prerequisite. What is added to the tasks of an associate is a great learning opportunity to develop account or strategic management, operational excellence or budgeting skills within this management role. As you advance in your Client Service career and in order to move further up the ladder it is important to go beyond sales to encompass building strategic and mutually beneficial relationships with clients and dive deep into managing P&L. At the end of the day though, and from my perspective, it all comes down to people management.
2. What is a Client Service Manager or Senior Manager involved in?
In our day to day work, we get accountability to important business decisions and we are bringing results by leading and being part of a fast-growing team in a high-paced environment. As a team, we get to understand the impact of our day to day work in the growth of a global organisation, viewing it as a whole. It is a very rewarding moment, when you realise how the different skills in the team are combined to produce industry learning results. At the same time, Dialectica is growing rapidly but stays very agile: this means that there is a lot of opportunity to innovate on new company-wide ideas. And there is a lot of room for our personal growth as well — there isn’t a moment when you stop evolving within Dialectica. Our business leaders will challenge you and at the same be right by your side, giving you direction through mentoring and coaching. Any person within our organisation can assist you — we are not following a strict or linear way of communication; if you need help, just reach out to the person you believe will help you best. There are even more awesome opportunities for learning and development — for example, our internal mini-MBA courses.
One thing to point out here is that even though the career paths, performance reviews and promotion criteria are exactly the same for each and every one of us, we all have our own management style, depending on the dynamics of our own ecosystem, i.e. our personal strengths and weaknesses as well as our team characteristics and clients’ needs. At the Manager and Senior Manager levels — compared to the entry-level Client Service roles — the job is what you choose to make it.
3. What are some of your daily responsibilities as you evolve within Dialectica’s Manager program.
For a Manager and a Senior Manager, no day is the same. My involvement in the daily client projects has to do with project management, delegation and coaching. It is really difficult to explain to people outside Dialectica how fast our company is growing and for this growth to be sustainable it is crucial that Senior Managers don’t follow a centralized structure for their teams — more like innovate and create depending on their own unit. I am responsible for project and account performance and equally for coaching. Coaching is one of the most important parts of our job. By helping people develop in their role and take more advanced tasks and responsibilities, we ensure that they’ll also be great business leaders in the future and assist even more efficiently in business objectives.
Hiring and training is also an important part of the job — amongst your responsibilities is to conduct interviews, coach and organize regular feedback sessions to identify and discuss any problems — not just performance issues — and decide on a common approach of how we can create solutions. Teamwork is an amazing opportunity to learn and produce results — but for this to happen, the people that form the team have to be happy and motivated. Good leadership and good understanding of how we can do our best is always very inspiring — it helps the whole organisation set solid foundations.
Even when we feel that the team works as a charm, as a true Dialectican you will never reach a plateau. Managers have the opportunity to get heavily involved in company-wide initiatives and projects — this is actually something that we are constantly motivated to do. If you think that you can provide more efficient alternatives to a process you are given the opportunity to speak to the upper management team about it and try to figure out a solution with direction and feedback from our senior leaders. This is how innovation works at the Manager and Senior Manager level, through taking action and trialling-and-erroring until you have a successful solution to an issue that matters for you and the organisation as a whole. To me this is an extremely valuable branding point for Dialectica that provides us with opportunities to learn, make mistakes and achieve incredible things.
As you grow within our Client Service team, be prepared to never feel bored!
Are you a university graduate on a job search journey? Our Client Service team is hiring for 40+ entry level jobs per month!
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