When I started writing this article, my first intention was to go and interview people who I thought were good manager so I could get a better idea of what traits those people have that makes them good at what they do. To my surprise, after brainstorming for a while, I decided to go in a completely different direction.
After talking to a colleague of mine, a very interesting idea popped up in my mind. Instead of guiding the article toward helping people to become better managers by giving them useful tips on how to do it, I decided to give it a twist and to create an article that, in fact, could help people to become better managers but by using as a base what regular employees think about the whole thing.
Managers have a lot of responsibilities in their hand, and being able to successfully manage the people assigned to them is the most important responsibility of all. But, let’s be honest; not everyone has the ability to be a good manager and no every manager is, in fact, a good manager. Being a successful manager requires a lot of dedication and perseverance and unfortunately, either we like it or not, if we are not willing to listen to what other people have to say about our management skills and take in consideration their advices on how to improve them, we will never become more than just a mediocre high-paid employee.
Below, I will share with you 5 important tips that could, in one way or another, help you give your management skills a little twist not only to be able to become a better manager but also to inspire and motivate your employees to become better employees themselves. And, remember; these tips come from the people who probably are doing all the work for you to help YOU shine in your job.
Tip # 1: Have an “emotional presence” in the lives of those who serve you: As important as it is to maintain your focus in the mission, it’s also important to develop an emotional presence in the lives of your employees. Show them that you are there for them and that you will always have their backs. Making a point to validate the “emotional working relationship” that you have with each one of them will help you in gaining their trust and respect more effectively than behaving like a cold blooded dictator.
Tip #2: Ask for your employees’ opinion in topics that affect all of them: Changes in the workplace is one of the most difficult things for human beings to deal with, especially when they are not given the chance to have a saying in what’s changing around them. If you want to strengthen the connection with your subordinates, make a point to involve all of them in some of the discussions and decision making processes. By allowing them to get involved in the “changing process,” you not only will help them feel like their opinion and feelings do matter but also will create a sense of peace around the office because people will know exactly what’s going on and are not kept in the dark. The truth is that a working environment where everything is changing and employees are not given the opportunity to at least know what’s going on is not a fun place to be. Not for the employees, and surely not for the manager.
Tip #3: Have trust in people’s abilities, knowledge, and expertise: This tip is a very simple one. Use your employees based on their abilities, knowledge, and expertise but moreover, have complete trust in who they are as capable and skilled individuals. If they are there is because they have what it takes to perform the job. Use that to your advantage. Start delegating more and at the same time, make them feel like you believe in their capability to perform the tasks assigned to them. At the end, this not only will help you get the job done, but also will provide them with the confidence they need to continue doing their job to the best of their abilities.
Tip # 4: Be respectful at all times: This is a very important tip. Respect is a two way street. If you want your employees to respect you as a person and as a manager; start leading by example. Show them that you respect them for who they are as a person but also for who they are as employees. Getting involved in a “let’s disrespect each other” game is not a very smart thing to do; especially, when your success as a manager depends on the relationship you have with your employees.
And, last but not least;
Tip #5: Learn when to lead, and when to follow: One of the most important quality of an exceptional leader is to know when it’s time for him to lead and when it’s time for him to follow. The fact that you are the manager doesn’t mean that you can’t delegate responsibilities and take the “follower” role once in a while. You will be surprised the things you get you employees to accomplished when you give them the opportunity to become managers for a day. Again, use this tip to your advantage and you will be surprised with the results you will get.
There you have it, my friends. Do you want to become a better manager? Well; start by listening to what employees in non-managerial positions think is the best quality that a good manager should have. It’s not a secret that people in entry and mid-level positions are basically the ones making things happen in the workforce. So, start listening to them and to what they have to say. Believe me; they know what they are talking about because they are the ones making your life and your job a better, successful, and productive one.
Remember; a true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” ~ Douglas MacArthur ~