What makes a good manager? For some, management implies control and leeway, while for others it is all about leadership. There are raging debates about whether management as a skill is inborn or acquired. Such factors as charisma, personality, ability to multitask and a consistent vision are just a few aspects that we naturally associate with managers. Managers can be a great source of motivation or frustration in the workplace. A Gallup?s latest report estimates that 75% of quitting American employees do so because of a bad boss or supervisor and not because of the position itself, even more, according to WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, passive-aggressive bosses make about 61% of workplace bullies.
Carrying the overall vision of your team or organization rests with you as a manager, and it is your job to ensure that this vision is effectively delivered. This means balancing between your own personal work obligations, those of the people that are under you, and the expectations of senior management. Managers are not necessarily born into leadership, but good leaders often make great managers because they understand the key to proper supervision, i.e., great people relationships.
This article provides ten golden tips to be a good manager and to create a cohesive team culture and deliver exceptional results.
#1 of the Gold Team Rules: Improve & You?ll Be Improved
Typical manager mentality is that there is always someone below them trying to pry their position from them through some exceptional skill or talent. However, it should not be about competition. If you can improve your team members and their own capabilities, i.e., setting them up for success, they will return the favor and give you their best. Learning how to be a good manager starts with leading from the front and inspiring, teaching and preparing others for the big shoes too.
A Good Manager Always Listens and Communicates
Listening might sound clich or a vague concept. Quoting Andy Stanley, ?Leaders who don?t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.? As a manager, you have to strike a balance between giving instruction and listening to feedback. Being in this position of privilege doesn?t mean that you have monotony of knowledge, rather the buck of decision making stops with you. Your employees and the folks under you are the ones bringing the vision to life while you are providing overall direction to this vision. If you don?t listen, there is a high chance that you will get disjointed from the process and progress of this vision.
Great Managers Are Personable
Being a manager means working under pressure, trying to balance between personal, company and team objectives. There is always the possibility of getting into incendiary situations especially where responsibility for team members lies with you, and there are deadlines to be met. Being personable, which is just another term for great interpersonal skills, makes it easier to accomplish tasks with help from other team members and improves the support mechanism during these high-pressure situations. It also helps you to interact with, manage and balance the different types of personalities in the office. Moreover, mind the importance of respect in the workplace.
Effective Management Means Taking Responsibility
Most new managers find it difficult to assume responsibility when things don?t pan out as they hoped, for example, a late deadline, an undelivered or under-delivered work item, or a project that didn?t go according to plan. Whatever the scenario is, it is crucial that you hold yourself to the same high standards that you hold other team members. If it was a failed team effort, be the first to assume responsibility instead of shifting blame onto others. This will make your employees respect you and also stand up for you in the future.
Be at the Forefront of Problem Solving
Being a manager and a leader requires an affinity for solving problems and providing direction at the most crucial times. At an impasse, there is often a tendency by managers to pass on responsibility to employees, especially when things aren?t going as planned. Some go as far as hogging all the glory when positive results come back. Resolving problems requires that you be at the forefront of accountability, even when things are tough.
Know How to Spot Talent & Delegate Work Accordingly
There are three kinds of managers, those who try to do everything, those who do nothing, and those who delegate responsibly. The latter is always the most successful when it comes to employee managing with effective project delivery, and knowing how to beat time and tight workflow regimes. Being a great manager means reading someone?s talent early enough and harnessing their individual prowess.
Always Recognize Achievements
Still on the cohesiveness of your team, recognizing talent goes hand-in-hand with speaking out on achievements and recognizing accomplishments. If there is a stand-out individual on your team, be quick to mention their exploits not only to boost their morale but also to enthuse the rest of the team members about bigger accomplishments.
Study the Principles of Management Success
You don?t need to be one of those gurus that have studied hundreds of motivational success books to excel in managing a team. But you do need to be able to at least pick up finer points from those who have gone before you on the management route. This will help you know how to deal with certain situations that arise in the workplace and also how to go the extra mile when it comes to those life-changing projects.
Make Time for One on One Meetings
It is easy to turn elusive as a manager, attending high-powered meetings and always sticking in the office executing some corporate plan. How your team members react to you is a reflection of how you relate with them. Always keep your eyes and ears on the ground and meet your team in person where possible. You can have weekly administrative meetings with the full team and one-on-one meetings with individual team members. You?ll get to learn more about your co-workers and how the office relates to each other.
Successful Managing Means Letting the Reigns Lose Sometimes
Most managers always try to keep a tight check on things even when they are not in the office. Once you have identified responsible team members and have delegated accordingly, always give them space to carry out the mandate you have trusted them with. You chose them because you trusted their ability to deliver, so now let this play out. At the same time, you also need rest from the high-pressure work environment, so take all breaks and personal quality time seriously. Always maintain a healthy work-life balance if you?re to avoid balking under pressure.
Extra Tip: Key Is to Know Yourself as a Person and Try to Learn from Others
The above 10 rules can be summed up into a fairly simple principle: know yourself well and avoid being overwhelmed by change, i.e., a new position or new responsibility. With a management position, different perks and doors open to you, and it is important to keep yourself grounded if you are to manage your team successfully.