Being a manager is difficult. You’re in more meetings, putting out more fires, and managing more people and projects. As you become more reactive to all your tasks, it can become harder to do the things you know you should do.
Being a manager is also an opportunity to help shape someone else’s career. As a manager, you are in a unique position to build up your team and grow the company. Here are 4 ways to be a better manager today:
Being a good listener is essential to being a good manager, and listening starts before you sit down to talk to an employee. As a good listener, you don’t assume what an employee is thinking, what their problem is, or what the right solution to their problem is – you need to ask them. Even if you think you have the right solution, a great manager listens with the intention of understanding.
Good managers need to give their time to their team, and this means checking-in and scheduling one-on-ones. Just like exercising to get or stay in shape, building strong and positive relationships takes time. Foster a culture of ongoing feedback by ensuring there’s open communication between teammates and develop the habit of meeting regularly. Meeting once a week is ideal, but even once a month helps improve the company’s communication. Running a 1:1 doesn’t have to be complex, they can be a place to check in on goals and get to know your employees.
A great manager is ready to take responsibility for their team’s errors, offer praise when they do something well, or mediate between upper management and their team. To become a good advocate for your team, you have to take the time to listen and check-in with your employees. This can be a challenge when you’re juggling other deadlines and duties, but it’s worth the investment of time.
Research reported at the Harvard Business Review showed that the highest performing teams had a ratio of nearly 6 positive comments to every 1 negative one: Offering praise and encouraging your employees is about recognition and making them feel included. Most workers thrive on feeling appreciated and recognized for their efforts. As an employee, praise, encouragement, and recognition give you a feeling of worth, loyalty, and motivate you to continue to do better in your position.
Good managers keep teams running and motivated, great managers are proactive and in tune with the needs and goals of their teams. As a manager, it’s your job to help your employees find their path to reach their full potential in their career. Embrace the opportunity to help others and try some of our ideas today.
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