A good manager’s responsibilities go beyond the work the team performs, and include acting as the backbone of a team, motivating, and encouraging personal growth and development for all team members individually. It is about being able to analyse each member for their strengths, weaknesses and to understand their personality. This goes beyond reaching the companies goals, and involves shaping team members individually and steering them onto a path that will develop their talents.
Here are 5 quick tips that will help you become a manager that people look up to, respect and trust.
1. Ability to drill down to detail when needed
A good manager will have a keen eye for detail as it is usually the small yet precise observations that can have an impact. A manager’s actions and decisions can have a knock on effect for other people or for the company, so when faced with a difficult situation always take a step back and analyse the details of the problem before reaching a decision. Don’t jump to conclusions.
2. 3 levels of listening
Listening is a major part of connecting with people, Interactions are a 2-way street and listening to what people have to say and listening to yourself is vital in establishing an understanding of each other. Listening can be broken down into 3 levels:
- Internal Listening: This is described as listening to the sound of your own inner voice. Where a person is physically listening to what somebody else is saying but relating everything to themselves, whether it be their own feelings, needs or experiences.
- Focused Listening: This level of listening is where the attention is directed one way, for instance in a coach and client type interaction. The coach is directing all their attention to the client because the client is the one that is needing the focus.
- Global Listening: Level 3 is where the listener focuses on more than what is being said, so as well as the words this can include emotion, body language and energy. The aim of this level is to grasp a deeper understanding of the speaker by picking up small details.
3. Encouraging individual growth and creativity
Managers and leaders should aim to connect with their employees on more than just a basic level. Some of the best leaders around the world have a profound ability to encourage their fellow colleagues to become the best that they can. Many managers find that approaching tasks more hands on and being more involved in an employee’s life is a good way to help them achieve. This is a great method, although the balance between being hands on with people and giving them the room they need to succeed on their own is a fine line and should always be kept balanced.
4. Lead by example
People who are at the top of the ladder are the ones who tend to have the most authority, popularity and influence. This power comes with responsibility and it is important to remember that the actions of somebody at this level can have either a negative or positive effect on other people. This position is great for a leader if they are always promoting the correct work ethic, attitude and values because it will inevitably rub off on others. On the other hand, there are some bad managers who have bad habits, who may be rude to people and who may not act professionally in every situation. This is detrimental to both the team and organisation.
Mentoring (1-to-1) somebody that works for you is a great way to communicate with each other on a more personal level. Studies have shown this is really effective when it comes to managing people because of the personal aspect involved it makes the employee feel much more valuable to the company. By working closely with the employee, you are making time to identify what their needs or goals are, and how to solve them.
A manager that succeeds is one that also makes his team succeed alongside him/her.
A good quote to remember is:
“Don’t equate activity with efficiency. You are paying your key people to see the big picture. Don’t let them get bogged down in a lot of meaningless meetings and paper shuffling. Announce a Friday afternoon off once in a while. Cancel a Monday morning meeting or two and tell them that you’d like them to spend the time at their desks, simply thinking about an original idea.” — Harvey Mackay
The London Management Centre run a range of open courses for management skills in the UK and Dubai.