In almost every profession, you will go through a series of promotions. You may have begun as an intern, then as an entry level salaried person, then a junior level person, followed by a senior level person. And ultimately, you may become a manager or director, having direct reports and being responsible for larger components of your team or project.
The tips to be a good manager listed below will help get you there.
How do you get to being a manager people respect often? A recent discussion talks about the importance of establishing good leadership skills. There are certainly a wide breadth of training courses on leadership that are available in major cities that you probably would need to hop on a plane to get to, and then there’s Toastmasters. Toastmasters is often a local low-cost (about $80 local and national dues) program that teaches both effective public speaking and leadership.
Be All That You Can Be
There are a lot of different types of managers — be the one you’re best at. Don’t wear a hat that doesn’t speak to you. Don’t try to walk in the shoes of a previous manager. You have your own style; use it!
Enlist in the Help of Your Team
Great managers are very collaborative. They are not pushy with their employees. They regularly share objectives with their employees and then ask their employees how they can use their strengths to achieve success.
Give feedback regularly and openly. It drives many employees bonkers when they cannot get constructive feedback (or any feedback) from their employer. I’ve personally worked at a company (remotely) and reported to a boss who checked in less than a dozen times per year, and always to criticize. It hurt me so much–but then I realized that when he’s not offering feedback, it’s because he likes what I’m doing. And then I felt better.
But that learning curve took me a whopping five years to adjust to. If you’re a manager, don’t be that manager. Check in with your team, perhaps weekly, perhaps daily, perhaps even monthly, and make sure they know you approve (or disapprove) what they’re doing.
Oh, and ask for feedback from your managers too! Everyone has room for improvement. You do, too.
Teamwork shouldn’t be ad hoc. While you may not know what you’re doing tomorrow, you should have general objectives for what you are trying to achieve in the most general terms. Set SMART goals = specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Empower Your Employees
Give your employees the tools and means to be successful at their jobs. If they’re required to make phone calls but they don’t have a phone, you get the idea. Update hardware if it’s out of date — that won’t just improve the output but will improve employee morale. Introduce them to people they’re required to speak to at their jobs.
Give Up Control
No manager can do it all alone. Don’t be the manager who thinks you can handle everything. You can and should give up control so that you can truly make yourself a success.
This means you’re going to have to get used to trusting people. And once you do, you’ll feel so much better that some of those other tasks are no longer on your plate.
But if you do everything, you’re only going to be one step closer to being a burned-out manager who is limited by his/her mental and physical capacity.
Of course, there are many other ways to become a great manager, but these tips are a foundation for success in the management sphere. Get the training, allow your team to rule, support them, give feedback, set objectives, and just be yourself. The more you do it, the closer you’ll get to being a rockin’ good manager.
Business Manager Photo via Shutterstock