It is often said that great people don’t do different things, they just do things differently. Whether you are corporate professional or business personnel, you need to manage people efficiently. Different people use different techniques but if you observe great managers, they do have some commonalities amongst themselves.
01. To be a good manager, you must set clear expectations for your team. People working under you must know what you expect from them over a certain time frame. If this is not clearly defined and agreed upon both ways, there can be a lot of confusion when the deadline comes and you’ll find unhappy faces and blame games all over the place. This is why it’s very important to discuss in detail with the whole team and clarify wherever needed.
02. Creating positive environment is another key issue that is effectively handled by a great manager. There are lots of organizations where employees just cannot perform at their best simply because of corporate politics, unhealthy debates and practices of negative criticism. Great managers always try to keep transparency and inspire team members to do the same.
03. Every individual is different. You cannot use the same tactics for each and every one. Things don’t work this way! Great managers try to learn what is unique about each person and capitalize on that. Everyone is good at something. If that uniqueness can be identified, it becomes easier to match the skills and improve the productivity.
04. If we look at our own skills, we can certainly realize that for some specific skills, we are quite strong while for some other skills, we have some weakness. Now, when you become a manager and you’re trying to improve the skill level of your team members, what would you do? Will you try to improve the weak areas of a particular person or try to strengthen his/her strong areas? Leveraging an employee’s strengths can reap much better outcomes than attempting to better their weak spots and great managers do that exactly. If someone is pretty weak in an area, it already means s/he has lesser interest on that. Therefore, productivity wise, it doesn’t make big difference. On the other hand, if we can emphasize on the strong areas and try to strengthen it further, it can motivate that particular employee to achieve more and that results in higher productivity and better output.
05. Some managers are quite reluctant to appreciate their subordinates because they think it will make them complacent. This is completely wrong way of managing people! We are human being and by nature we like to get appreciated for the things we do. If someone does good job, we must praise and recognize excellence immediately. Great managers never make it too late to appreciate.
06. In our personal life, we make lots of emotional decisions and follow our heart instead of our head. However, for a business, there is no room for such kind of decisions. However, as human being, we can’t really come out of that shell often. Great managers never make any emotional decision; they keep their emotions out of their way and use their logic instead. You might need to fire someone or shut down a unit at some point of time – these are truly critical decisions to make. If you become emotional, it will hinder you in making the right decisions and this one decision might be good enough to sink you deep down.
07. Last but not the least, show people that you care about them. If you are a manager, you need to take care of people you’re managing. They might need some extra leave here and there, they might need your inspired words when they are morally down, they might need to get boosted when things are not going on well and so on. If they find you taking care of their needs and their expectations, they will also take care of you in return.
With over ten years of managerial experience in corporate level, I’m still trying to master these skills and also sharing my experience through different workshops. It’s not so difficult, you just need to be conscious and be open to learn. Others can be good but you have the potential to be great. Check how many of these seven you are following and note down the ones that you’re still not. I’m sure you can improve and be a great manager eventually.