Being a manager isn’t easy. There’s a lot more to it than simply completing tasks, ticking off boxes and making sure everything gets done. Your main job is to manage a team and ensure that they are functioning at their best all the time. Once you become a manager, your job gets a whole lot more complicated. It’s no longer about just keeping your head down and doing your own work. There’s a lot more to it than that.
If you’re a new manager, you might find yourself struggling to adjust to the job at hand. You already obviously have the list of business management skills you need. If that wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t have been promoted in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still have a lot to learn. So, here are some ways you can be a better manager.
Learn to listen
This doesn’t mean just sitting there while your team members discuss the business development skills list they’ve been working on. It also doesn’t just mean hearing what they have to say when they work up the courage to talk to you. It means you have to actually listen to their words, understand what they mean and think about how to respond in a positive and encouraging way.
If one of your team members has a problem, you need to really hear what they have to say so you can solve the problem. You can’t just nod your head and expect things to sort themselves out. That’s how you lose good employees. It’s important that your team members feel heard. If they don’t feel heard, they won’t want to talk to you and problems will escalate without you knowing about them in the first place.
Find the right words
Speaking harshly and handing out warnings or threats every two minutes isn’t a good way to communicate with your team members. You need to speak to them with respect and understanding. Fear is not a good management technique. If they’re scared of you, they’ll avoid confrontation at all costs. And this could lead to mistakes being covered up instead of being fixed and issues being ignored until they become a big deal and negatively affect the business. You need to know how to talk to them so they always feel they can come to you.
Another reason you need to know how to speak to your team members in the right way is to encourage and motivate them. You don’t want to run a department that consistently under delivers because the employees aren’t motivated and don’t actually care about the work they’re doing. You want your team members to feel loyalty towards you and the company. By finding the right words to use when talking to them, you will earn the respect and admiration of your team.
Hire the right team members
Hiring new team members is one of the most difficult parts of the job. You need to find people who won’t only tick every box on the business skills list, but also fit in with the team and work well with the people you’re already managing. Teamwork is very important to any business and, as a manager, encouraging the best teamwork possible is a big part of your job description.
So, when you’re interviewing someone, try asking questions that reveal things about their personality as well as the usual questions about their skills and work experience. You can easily do this by chatting to them casually for a few minutes when you’re done with all the formalities. In fact, it may be a good idea to invite a few of your team members into the room at this point to help you get to know them. After all, they’ll be the ones working with this person so it helps if they like them from the start.
Make sure you set up boundaries
Listening to your team members and speaking to them in the right way won’t work if they don’t respect the boundaries between a manager and his/her staff. Sure, you can be friendly. You can talk about your weekend plans and even be a support system for when they’re struggling. You can be understanding and care for them. But you have to know when to put your foot down. They have to know that you’re the boss and there are going to be times when you have to draw the line.
You can’t let people walk all over you when you’re in a management position. Your team members need to understand that they answer to you and they need to do what you tell them to do. There’s no need to be forceful about it but it is your responsibility to make sure they understand what they need to do and when they need to do it.