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How Good Are Your Management Skills

How Good Are Your Management Skills?

I’m sure you know of people who are happy to stay with the same company because they have a fabulous manager, even if they can get a higher position and better salary elsewhere. On the other hand, how many people do you know who work in fantastic companies with great reputations and get fantastic packages, yet, they quit because they cannot stand dealing with the management anymore? You might have even experienced either of the scenarios yourself.

Becoming a people’s manager is a necessity in today’s corporate life. Amongst the many motivational tools – such as perks, pay and title – interpersonal relationships and feeling appreciated, motivated and recognised by one’s manager are definitely the most powerful incentives. All this comes down to your management skills, leadership skills and team building skills: how good are they?  Test yourself out against the following…

If you set rules make sure you follow them yourself

Remember when you reported to the manager who always gave you a hard time for reaching the office five minutes late while he or she arrived one hour late every day? Exactly! No one respects those who don’t walk the talk. Be a role model – set rules by all means, but make sure you follow them first. You will be able to easily win your team’s respect and appreciation and will have won the right in their eyes to occasionally bend the rules.

Don’t get buddy-buddy with one of your team members

Don’t get involved in personal relationships. Keep it professional, fair and friendly. It is very easy for people to misinterpret your decisions and intentions to reward a colleague of theirs, who happens to be a friend of yours, even if your intentions are genuine and the reward is well-deserved. This can also create jealousy, cause lack of motivation and un-needed hearsay in the office. Treat your team members equally, and reward good performance in the most transparent way possible, using objectives and evidences. Always maintain your reputation as a fair manager. This also helps with team building.

Make sure you focus on people not just business

Balance is key. Show your emotional intelligence training through how you build and maintain healthy relationships with your team members. Empathise and make sure you dedicate time to talk to your team individually, whether through coaching sessions or monthly meetings. Go through their development plans with them, recognise their work and motivate them to stretch themselves to do more. Let them know you believe in their capabilities and are happy to help them grow and develop. Performance management should be a balance between support and reward and letting people know what they may need to work on.

Don’t lie to your employees

Again, it is professional and personal. Your team looks up to you and wants to trust you. If you break that trust, they’ll find it hard to believe you again – an instant emotional intelligence “fail”. If you have confidential information that you cannot yet share, tell them the truth; don’t give them false information or mislead them. You have the right not to share, but not to lie.

Don’t take it out on your team

Having a bad day? It is easy to take it out on the over-excited employee who comes to you early morning with too many questions or urgent requests, or on that team member who has not yet finished a project when the deadline is approaching. We are humans and can easily make mistakes that we later regret. Be self-aware. Try to postpone any non-urgent meetings, go for a walk, remind yourself of your responsibilities as a manager – to be a guide, coach and be a role model to your team members; take a deep breath and go back to the office when you have calmed down.

Don’t take too much on your plate

The magical word here is “delegate”, and to do that you have to trust your team and be prepared to deal with mistakes while they are learning. You can always coach and help them in the beginning. However if you end up being the initiator, implementer and a completer-finisher, you will get stressed, exhausted, and short-tempered which will affect the entire team, your productivity levels and performance. Not to forget, when you do that, you are depriving your team of the opportunity to learn and grow through balanced performance management.

 

Don’t overload one team member

Many managers fall in that trap when they find a sharp achiever within their team. They tend to assign that person more responsibilities. While it is great to groom a potential successor or help them grow, be careful not to burn them out. On the other hand, the rest of the team might feel left out and not invested in. That will be counterproductive to your team building efforts. Make sure there are clear objectives and personal and professional plans for each of your members. That is what good performance management is about.

 

Build your team by supporting ideas

Even if you are an expert in your field, always invite ideas and ask for feedback. You will be surprised how small ideas you get from your peers or subordinators could help you achieve your departmental or business goals faster. This also creates a healthy environment for the development of each team members’ skills, and it fosters two-way communication.

How did you go? HNI can help you go from being a good to a great manager, with award-winning training programs covering performance management, team building, management skills, emotional intelligence skills and leadership skills. HNI’s training uses a systematic approach developed through our knowledge and extensive industry research. Our programs are engaging, hands-on and customized for the best results.
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