Some people are born to lead. And those people usually enjoy roles of authority or when they get to manage others. Learning to manage others should be a skill that can be learnt. That being said, it’s no easy feat. Being a new manager can be a bit stressful as well. That’s particularly true for the first month on the job, where most new managers do their best just to keep their heads above water. We dug deep and discovered 10 things all managers should do.
Use what you have
As a leader and as a manager, you are only as good as the team you have. You may not get to work with someone you prefer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do the best you can with what you have. Everyone in the organization is hired for some kind of competence they might possess. So they are your talent and it reflects well on you if you work with them without any hiccups. They might not be at the standard you want them to be, but they were hired for a reason.
Work with your team to spot areas that can be refined. Once you have understood the areas that need to focus on, find goals for the whole team to work towards.
Strengthen and build your team
But is identifying the goals you need to work on enough? What if your team is not motivated enough to succeed? The group has to work together to achieve the team’s objective. Develop your team-building skills, and then approach every day as a day the team wins or loses together. Some of our inputs on our SALT program allows you to learn this.
Learn to recognise and show gratitude
Being a good manager means showing gratitude and offering recognition for a job well done. Employees really appreciate recognition for the hard work they have put in. The feeling of being appreciated can push them to perform more and better. Appreciation will lead to a more productive employee.
We hear stories of employees who work in roles that aren’t helping them or are unsatisfactory, but they still stick around because of their co-workers and their managers.
Develop a professional work relationship with your team
Your goal as a manager should not be to make friends with your employees. Striking a friendship might prevent you from delivering correct or harsh feedback. As a manager, your biggest concern should be your team’s performance.
What you can form instead is a professional relationship. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a personal touch in your relationship. As long as the vast majority of your conversations revolve around work, you should be okay. It’s alright to be friendly with your employees and know them at a personal level. But the majority of your conversation should be about work and the relationship should be a professional one.
Lead like a leader
You have a great team built. With the best resources available. You have even managed to motivate them. But there is still something missing. There is no direction and that is where your team can fall through. Motivating a team is useless unless you provide direction. A true leader will motivate and lead the team to a goal. The ability to lead is what sets a manager apart.
Motivation is key
A good trait to have as a leader is to learn how to motivate. If you are motivated, your team can stand a good chance to become motivated and buy-in to the ideas and tasks they have been given. The buy-in is key, as that implies the team has belief in what they are doing. It’s essential that you, as a manager, buy-in to what you are selling as well. A leader that does not portray belief in a task will receive shoddy results.
Over the years of experience, we have come to understand that the single most important skill of a manager is communication. When you are a leader, it’s essential to communicate your vision. In order to learn how to motivate people, it’s essential for you to know exactly what you want. Communication skills can be improved through practice. This can take some level of practice. Prepare your points ahead of time and work on communicating them to your team.
The proverb time is money comes to mind here. The better you are at managing time, the more effective you’ll be as a manager. In a nutshell, time management is all about managing the amount of time you and your team spend on tasks. Planning your time and managing your team’s time will help you in the long run.
Work on yourself
Focusing on others can sometimes shift the focus off you. As a leader, it’s important to identify the areas that need work on yourself and improve yourself. Some of the ways to identify areas that need work is to have a debrief session with your boss on a monthly basis. Communicating with your colleagues can help as well. Reading up about different leadership techniques and using those to better yourself can work well.
Bring your team together to solve problems
It’s often tempting to solve your problems by yourself. But gathering your team when you feel stuck to brainstorm can help solve a problem faster. Understanding the problem better can help with problem-solving. Moreover, each person will have a different perspective and understanding of the problem to solve the problems faster.