4 Things You Can Do Today to be a Better Manager

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It does not matter if you are a team manager leading a team of 5 or a Division Manager leading an organization of 500, the challenges with team and people management are fundamentally the same. It does not get any easier with a smaller team. All you require is a couple of difficult employees or staff and your hands will be full!

So what can you do to help you become a better, more effective and more efficient Manager?

 

Here are 4 things you can do today to help you become a better Manager.

1. Clarity & Purpose

As a Manager or a Leader, you must articulate your team goals, team objectives and intent with absolute clarity. Everyone on your team must understand what the team goals and objectives are.

As a Leader or a Manager, your instructions to each individual member must be clear and concise. Unclear messages or instructions only serve to confuse your team members and diffuse the effort.

 


As a Leader or a Manager, your instructions to each individual member must be clear and concise. Unclear messages or instructions only serve to confuse your team members and diffuse the effort


The Purpose of the team must be clear to every member of the team. Every individual needs to know exactly why they are doing what they are doing. Each member of the team must also understand how their individual goals and objectives tie into the team’s overarching goals and objectives. Understanding how one’s goals and objectives feed into the team goals serves to provide a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging to the team.

2. Praise & Recognition

Praise and recognition form the fundamentals of motivating people. Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. Everyone likes to be praised for an accomplishment. We feel good about ourselves when others recognize and appreciate what we have done.

Praise and recognition are sure-fire ways of boosting someone’s self-confidence and self-esteem. The key to effective praise and recognition is to do it when the person least expects it.

 


Praise and recognition are sure-fire ways of boosting someone’s self-confidence and self-esteem. The key to effective praise and recognition is to do it when the person least expects it


However, praise and recognition has to be done in a sincere and genuine way. If done in a careless and nonchalant manner, the entire effort could work against you and the effects extremely damaging.

 

3. Accountability

Responsibility without Accountability results in Anarchy. Therefore hold each member responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions. As much as you praise and recognize good work, members need to be taken to task if they fail to perform as expected.

However it is important to differentiate between individual accountability and team-focused accountability. When your intention is to build a cohesive and collaborative team, every member of the team should be held accountable towards the entire team. In other words, each member is accountable to the entire team — and not just to the team Manager.

 


It is important to differentiate between individual accountability and team-focused accountability


4. Focus on Possibilities, not Problems

When faced with a challenge, issue or a problem, most of us will by default, focus on the problem or the issue at hand. We tend to ask the “Why” questions first. For instance, “Why did this problem occur?” or “Why wasn’t something done to prevent this from happening?”

It is a natural tendency in all of us to try to get to the root of the problem or the issue at hand by asking the “Why” questions. This is what I call the Problem-Focused questions.

However as a Manager or a Leader of a team, you can guide your team to look at the problem from a totally different perspective — by asking questions that are focused on the possibilities. For example, “What do you think can be done next?” or “Based on your expertise and experience, what should be our next step?” This is being Possibility-Focused.

So instead of focusing on the problem, you should guide your team to focus on the possibilities.

 


Instead of focusing on the problem, you should guide your team to focus on the possibilities


This will give your team members a sense of ownership and it also demonstrates that you as their Manager respects their experience and expertise, and will go a long way in motivating your team to achieve higher productivity and performance.

Are there any things you should avoid doing as a Leader or Manager? Here are 3 things you should absolutely avoid.

 

 


“The pointers you give are helpful and improved the quality of hires that I have.” ~ HR Manager, Cambridge Industrial Trust Management

 

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September 17, 2014

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