Be a Great Manager – part 1

great manager‘Management’ is organising and supervising people to get things done. Great management means putting your people first. A business whose employees feel valued and respected will find its effectiveness and efficiency massively improved.

How to do it? Here is the first instalment of our top tips to being a Great Manager!

1. Communicate

Always think before you communicate. Is what you are about to say clear, crisp and to the point? How can you make it more so? Always strive for this in all of your communications, whether it be speaking, emailing, writing or texting. Remember that communication is not only about the words you are saying… eye contact, posture, gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, humour and personal appearance (including grooming) play a huge role in how we communicate with each other. If you are presenting to a group then remember visual aids are very useful too. Don’t forget, that communication is a two-sided coin. To be a great communicator you need also to be able to LISTEN!!!

2. Trust and honesty

If you are honest in all of your dealings with people then you will naturally create trust in others. Another way to inspire trust is to do your job. Great managers always do what they are supposed to do, but then will also chip in and do a little more to help out. Also you should never complain or discuss issues with your people just to ‘get it off your chest’ – yes be up-front and honest but only bring problems to the person who is able to fix the situation. This is so that you are showing support and loyalty to the business and inspiring loyalty in others.

3. See the good in people!

You need to make it a priority to see the good in every person you manage, and to bring this ‘good’ to their attention too. If one of your team performs well, you should immediately praise them. You could even share this praise with the rest of the team to encourage this good performance from them. If you are generous with compliments then your team will be more willing to work with you.

If you have negative feedback to deliver however, this should be a private conversation. Again, this feedback should be given immediately. This time, take care to only criticize a specific, observable performance error, not the person! Structure the feedback so that it is of a problem-solving nature, with ideas of how to improve. Remember to listen to their side of things, and also throw in some praise for their abilities in other areas. You could also plan a follow-up meeting to see how they are improving.

 4. Have great expectations

Never accept mediocre performance, and tell your people this! Great leaders are always encouraging but make it clear that they have high expectations of their people. In order to achieve this you must:

  • give regular feedback
  • share the bigger picture with staff in order that they can see where their efforts fit in, and know that what they are doing is meaningful and appreciated
  • create professional development opportunities for your team
  • if you can, identify ways that you can give rewards or incentives to staff for a job well done or a target achieved

 5. Make them want you!

Think back to school and a few teachers will crop up in your memory. There were strict ones, boring ones, young and cool ones… but the best ones; the ones that everybody respected and did their homework for (even the naughtier children) – were tough yet fair, strong-minded, dynamic and charismatic. These teachers inspired you because they believed in their subject, they had high expectations, and were consistent with their rules and strategies. You knew where you stood with them. It is the same in the workplace – if want to get your people to do what you want, then you need to inspire them to want the same as you, and to want to do it for you! To do this you must:

  • Never look down on other people
  • Have high personal standards so that people look up to you
  • Be firm but fair, and consistent!
  • Be sensitive to the needs of your people
  • Be accessible – as much as you can
  • Make all individual tasks both for the good of the business, and for the good of the individual (this involves a little thought – are you giving the right task to the right person?)
  • Show your sense of humour!

 6. Charm, etiquette and respect

  • Always be courteous…. be as charming with the cleaning staff as you are with your most important clients!
  • Be on time for work / meetings / lunches – or always let people know why you are going to be late.
  • Smile.
  • Make an effort to remember the names of, well, as many people as you can!
  • There is no excuse for not returning calls, texts, letters and emails straight away.
  • Don’t give orders, but make polite requests of your people.
  • Always show your gratitude!

Be a Great Manager – Part 2 is coming soon!

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