As a manager, you regularly evaluate your team’s performance, but do you ever stop to think about your own? Their performance is a direct reflection of yours, after all. Maintaining your role as leader, not friend, will go far in helping you be looked upon with respect. It is difficult to be an effective manager if you are spending time outside of work with your employees.
Nobody Likes Me!
Being a manager is much more than being likeable. Your ability to communicate to your team and give them clear instructions is vital. These skills do not come from being buddy-buddy. You will need to work on how you communicate so your team understands you from the get go. Ensure they know what you are looking for and what you expect of them. Make sure they know that if they are unclear about anything they have your full support and you will clarify.
Be Constructive in Your Criticism
As your team works through their projects, give them regular feedback. Be careful you do not just tell them what they have done wrong, but work with them on how it should be adjusted. This will help them learn and they will be able to apply that lesson in the future. It is important to give them the space to work and try different options without fear of criticism.
Stay Involved, But Not Too Involved
Stay involved with your team, but do not micromanage them. Remain open-minded and listen to their ideas. Your team often sees things from a different point of view, and they may have some good contributions. However, if you do not choose to use their suggestions, let them know why. This will assure them you appreciate their input; it just was not right for that particular situation.
Trust is Key
A good manager puts full trust in their team. Allow your team to manage their own time and prioritize their tasks. If they are successfully completing their projects and meeting their deadlines, you look good and they feel great.
Get to Know Your Team
Every team member is different, and they react differently. Some may need ongoing encouragement, while others just need to be given the assignment and let loose. Get to know each team member’s nuances and guide them to a successful outcome. Do not be afraid to raise your expectations so your team elevates themselves to excellence. Just be careful you do not set unrealistic goals, or they will be disappointed if they are unable to achieve your lofty ideals.
Be Willing to Adjust
Things will not always go as planned so be able to adjust – plan on the fly. Address your team’s performance, if necessary, but never turn away from the challenges. Face them and get your team back on track. And through it all, treat your team with respect. Be grateful and they will give you their all – making them look good and you look great.