How to Be a Good Manager
To become a good manager, include these five behaviors into your leadership plan.
- A competent leader leads by example and understands how to play to their strengths to aid in the success of their team.
- Successful managers build relationships with their staff members and look for ways to help them so they may do their best job.
- Clear objectives, expectations, and feedback should be continuously communicated to your staff.
- This article is for managers and owners of small businesses who want to develop their leadership abilities.
A manager is not the same thing as a leader. A leader prioritizes the development and well-being of your team members whereas a manager may be responsible for work allocation and timekeeping. The greatest managers are adept at performing both tasks and can effectively use each employee’s abilities to create a successful company. Deborah Sweeney, vice president and general manager of business acquisitions at Deluxe Corp., asserts that effective managers do this by using their emotional intelligence and soft skills.
Traditional wisdom is that the individual in the room with the highest IQ is the brightest, Sweeney said. The highest achievers in any firm, according to research, are those that possess emotional intelligence and its four fundamental competencies, including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
Find out what it takes to be a successful leader and how to handle the most typical employee kinds in the sections below.
How to manage effectively
1. Assist your team rather than leading them.
Although you may be used to having complete control over your workload, taking on managerial duties will require you to relinquish some of that power and assign certain tasks to others, according to executive coach Ora Shtull, who has been certified by the International Coach Federation.
You won’t be able to move up and handle more senior tasks if you don’t get over your addiction to doing everything, she warned. Delegating is a part of letting go. It’s crucial to remember that delegation does not entail abandoning the team or abdicating responsibility.
Although you have different duties than your team members who are at the entry-level, you should nonetheless get your hands filthy. In addition, you want to include your staff in decision-making. A collaborative workplace culture is preferred by 74% of American employees polled, according to Kimble’s Boss Barometer Report, over one where the boss controls most of the choices. If You Listen Up, Your Employees Will Step Up [Related Article]
According to Sacha Ferrandi, founding partner of Source Capital Funding Inc., “by choosing to lead by example and proving that [you] are an expert at what [you] are asking them to accomplish, it can frequently result in increased respect and productivity.” It’s difficult to dispute the fact that a boss’s work ethic rubs off on employees. They are more inclined to work hard for you if you put in the effort for them.
2. Become familiar with your staff.
Each employee has unique talents, limitations, and learning styles. It is your responsibility as a manager to really comprehend each person’s traits in order to properly lead them and to foster a good boss-employee connection. This may be accomplished by by monitoring the work they perform, but regularly asking straightforward questions also yields information.
What was the greatest day you had at work in the last three months, asks Harvard Business Review? to urge the worker to consider the jobs and projects they like working on. You may then modify how you assign assignments to this employee based on their responses to get the greatest results.
What was the worst day you had at work in the last three months? is a question you might equally ask the reverse of. These kinds of discussions assist you in identifying the problems so you can fix them.
3. Establish a welcoming and constructive work atmosphere.
The success of your company may be significantly impacted by the example you set for your workplace. It’s critical to have an upbeat, enjoyable workplace where team members feel valued and appreciated. A content worker is a more effective worker. By modeling positive conduct every day and adopting sporadic team-building exercises, you may develop a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
You should often acknowledge the accomplishments of your team (even small ones). Great bosses acknowledge their staff and show appreciation whenever feasible. Employees want a sense of appreciation and recognition for their efforts. Giving them praise for a job well done inspires them to continue working hard.
Simply stated, rather of focusing constantly on flaws and errors, “excellent managers stop regularly to praise others and promote the good,” Shtull added.
Praise may improve team spirit and create a productive workplace. Employees may begin to care less if you neglect to provide them with constructive criticism and acknowledgement. Leah de Souza, a leadership communication coach and managing director of Trainmar Consulting, suggests team building exercises and celebrations in addition to regular praise.
She advised setting aside time for “team bonding, which is pure joy, and team celebration, which is a reward for a significant team accomplishment. “Each of these team activities is crucial to the group’s harmony and sense of pleasure. Getting input on ideas is important since what constitutes fun might vary between cultures and within teams.
The preferred forms of acknowledgment and desired frequency of team activities should be discussed with your team. These events may be connected to your job, your volunteer activity, or simply for pleasure, but you should take care to make sure that each one is welcoming and acceptable for your workplace.
4. Share objectives, deadlines, and criticism.
Successfully setting objectives and outlining expectations for team members is one of the most crucial aspects of management. For their teams, managers should concentrate on setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) targets. According to De Souza, departmental and individual goals should be adapted from the corporate objectives.
All of the objectives established within the business “must have a clear connection,” she said. “Goals must be established in coordination with the team.”
Good managers are upfront with their team members about their expectations after defining targets. De Souza advises doing organized goal reviews. To make sure team members are content and feel challenged in their responsibilities, you may periodically check in with them. However, communication is two-way; you must listen just as much as you speak.
Leaders who don’t listen will always be surrounded by those who have nothing to contribute, according to Shtull. “As a manager, you’ll also have to overcome the addiction to always being correct in addition to letting go of control over all the work. Never just advocate for your own viewpoint. Your team members won’t want to contribute their thoughts if you seem set in your ways
The founder and CEO of Artixan Consulting Group LLC, Xan Raskin, noted that outstanding leaders listen not only to be heard but also to be understood. Building a long-term relationship with workers begins with letting them know you have heard them and that you understand them, even if you disagree.
5. Mentor your group members.
You must speak out for them if you want to have a valued, devoted staff. Employers should be inspired and enthusiastic about their profession, much like effective coaches should be. By doing this, your staff will be able to prevent burnout and enjoy doing their finest work.
According to Shtull, “effective managers teach by asking questions, encouraging their team members to think critically and come up with answers.” In turn, team members develop, progress, and eventually turn into outstanding bosses.
Show your concern for the future and careers of your staff. Give them the instruction and information they need to be successful in the job. The development and success of their staff members do not frighten good managers; rather, they inspire and welcome change.
According to Sweeney, “a successful manager understands how to tap into their team members’ qualities and develop their special talents into excellent performances. “A good manager accepts and supports new ideas and ways of doing things. A good manager is not intimidated by change in the workplace, whether it be a change in the way certain procedures are done or new leadership.”
6. Develop your self-awareness and leadership abilities.
Effective leaders are aware that managing people does not imply that they possess all knowledge. Alongside their team, managers should always be learning and developing. You may improve on a variety of leadership abilities, including delegating and time management. Managers may do this, according to Raskin, by understanding how to save their energy for the most crucial duties. [Related article: Three Delegation Principles Every Manager Should Understand]
To get through a workday and make sure you have time left over for your personal life, she advised determining how much effort, time, and attention each task requires before going on to the next.
You should develop self-awareness and an understanding of how you connect to others as the alpha dog. Be aware of your actions and the message they convey to your staff. As a manager, you often create the tone and culture for the company, so it’s important to be aware of both the intended and inadvertent affects you have on others, according to Raskin.
Even something as straightforward as how a boss behaves in a meeting would need time and effort to get right, she added. “Do they take out their phone in the middle of a presentation to check their emails? It’s crucial to understand the message it conveys to workers, such as “If the meeting isn’t essential to the boss, why should it be important to me?” Even even little things have tremendous significance.
There are numerous moving aspects in successful team management, and change and self-reflection must be ongoing. To become the greatest leader you can be, learn something new every day.
De Souza said, “It’s OK not to know everything; that’s truly not your job.” Show your colleagues that you are a regular person who makes mistakes sometimes and can have fun at a foolish joke. It’s not about being a distant figure to be a manager. To engage and direct is your responsibility.
Managing various staff kinds
Your team will consist of a variety of personalities, regardless of size. It’s crucial that you develop your ability to collaborate with each person personally as a leader. Instead of using a management approach that works for everyone, you should figure out how to effectively assist each of your workers so they can do their best job. Here are a few typical employee kinds and some tips on how to handle them.
Employees that consume the bulk of a manager’s time may be deemed high-maintenance. High-maintenance tendencies include persistently seeking approval, asking endless questions, or finding it difficult to take criticism.
Establishing a communication to attempt to resolve the problem is crucial for managing an employee who needs a lot of attention. Find out which of their requirements aren’t being satisfied during this time. Use this conversation to discuss the employee’s particular behaviors that may be improved and to provide solutions for any problems. Above all, be careful to customize your interactions for each person.
When you recruit a self-managing employee, you may feel as if you’ve found the perfect employee. Even better, your whole staff may be characterized as autonomous, self-sufficient individuals. No matter how little direction people need to do their responsibilities, you still need to be a good leader.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that these workers are consistently inspired and excited about their work. Check in often to talk about how you can provide them greater assistance by providing feedback, tools, and clear explanations of your team’s objectives.
Employees that are reserved and quiet
You can encounter an employee that is hesitant or timid because they are shy or introverted. They may not speak out at staff meetings or interact with coworkers much, yet they could nevertheless put forth a lot of effort. Everyone approaches tasks and culture in a different way. It is your responsibility as a manager to comprehend these actions.
Give a shy or introverted employee room to work while letting them know that you’re there to assist so they feel comfortable and supported. Regular one-on-one appointments are another option, since they provide a more intimate setting in which to freely address any difficulties. Find out which strategies enable this person to do their best job while reducing any daily tension.
A group with varying degrees of motivation
Because no two workers are the same, teams often include members with different degrees of motivation. While some workers routinely exceed expectations with no direction, others may need more encouragement to complete their jobs. In management, there is no such thing as one size fits all, and various personality types need various leadership philosophies.
For instance, managers should continue to create measurable objectives and provide opportunity for strong performers to develop and advance in their careers, even if they may not need as much attention. On the other side, poor performers can need instructions, objectives, and expectations that are crystal clear. It’s crucial to emphasize “teachable instances” for them to learn from and boost their confidence since it’s often not about their intentions but rather a lack of confidence.
Being a youthful manager who directly supervises senior workers might be scary. Despite your qualifications, you could worry that your staff won’t accept your authority when you need to resolve disputes or assign responsibilities. It’s crucial to recognize and comprehend each employee’s unique talents rather than attempting to coerce respect from them. These staff members may also possess important institutional knowledge that may provide context when modifying systems or a plan.
The age difference may also cause some animosity, so it’s crucial to be encouraging of this employee, demonstrating your interest in their accomplishments, and requesting their assistance. Additionally, you want to communicate with each person individually and provide feedback in a way that suits them best. For instance, a younger employee may react better to email or instant messaging whereas an older employee may prefer direct, face-to-face contact.
Due to COVID-19, remote work has increased significantly over the last several years, yet managing personnel from a distance successfully has certain issues. Productivity may be impacted when remote employees feel disengaged or disconnected from the rest of their team. Find strategies to engage remote employees, such as keeping them feeling heard and getting to know them personally.
Making ensuring the individual gets the technology and security they need to be effective is very crucial. Consider the particular technologies that each employee needs to do their job. Employees who depend on meetings, for instance, should be provided with modern audio and video communication capabilities. When workers use corporate computers in public settings with shared Wi-Fi, such as coffee shops and airports, security should be a key concern. These locations make it simple to hack their laptop and access the private information belonging to your business. To secure your employee and your business, make a significant security investment.
A new group
Within your current firm or while joining a new one, you can find yourself in charge of a new team. Establish a positive first impression. Setting up quick one-on-one sessions with your new hires to get to know them personally is one approach to do this. Additionally, it gives you the chance to introduce yourself in a more intimate way.
Establish open lines of communication at this period to learn how each employee wants to provide and receive feedback. You want them to feel at ease enough to express any worries or suggestions. From there, you may also address any existing or past problems and provide solutions to ease their workload.
Gen Z workers
Born between 1996 and 2015, Generation Z is the most diverse generation and is just starting to join the workforce. As such, they want leadership to share their ideals on inclusivity, the environment, and social justice. It’s critical to comprehend these traits in order to handle this group’s unique contributions to the workplace. Career development, as well as precise education and goal clarity, are crucial for this technologically sophisticated demographic. Also of utmost importance is diversity. Generation Z is more likely to have open minds and give their mental health a lot of consideration.
You must set a good example for Gen Z workers if you want to manage and keep them, so make sure your management practices reflect their values. For your youthful workers, provide a friendly but demanding workplace, and pay attention to their worries. Find out more about handling Generation Z at work.