Being a good manager is tough. Most people have a hard time making the tough decisions and also trying to get their team on side.
1) Great Listening Skills
Listening and communication are probably the most important qualities of a good manager. If employees don’t feel like they are being heard or that their opinion matters, then you go down a slippery slope that eventually ends with either you firing the person or getting a resignation letter out of the blue. Take the time to listen to your employees and take their suggestions, ideas and sometimes criticism seriously.
Empathy is another key quality of a great manager. Everyone has hard days and sometimes the best that a person gives to a situation is going to vary from day to day. Although you want to make sure it’s clear that you have high standards for performance, you don’t want to come across as a cold, emotionless person. It’s possible to find a balance of getting things done and also dealing with personal issues that may arise unexpectedly. Make sure you make it clear to your team that you are open to figuring out ways to make their experience and work the best it can be.
3) A clear vision of the desired outcome
Often, managers will fail when the outcome is ambiguous. Is it customer service or internal politics that comes first? Establish a clear vision of what you and your team are hoping to accomplish and remind them regularly of how their contributions will get you there. Breaking down a large project into small pieces allows people to see why they are moving in a certain directly and provides clarity to the day to day decision making.
4) The ability to empower your team
Great leaders and managers inspire their team to bring forward their best ideas and work. By creating an environment that fosters empowerment and creativity, your team will be able to bring their best ideas to the table. Everyone always says that they hate micro-managing but very few managers have the awareness to stop. Keep your team accountable for their KPIs but allow them to get to that goal in their own way.
5) Be Open
Managers frequently think of themselves as the ones who have a lot to teach their employees. But it also works the other way around. Typically a great manager has a generalist skill set and brings on specialists on to their team. Having a cross functional team allows each member to bring a unique contribution to the table. Be open to the idea that you can learn a lot from your employees. They may teach you a different way to solve a problem or come up with an idea to hit that goal or KPI in a more efficient way. By making it clear that you set the direction for the team but that you are also open to suggestions and ideas, you foster an environment of learning and coaching.
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