If you’ve read this article this far, I’m sure you want to leave no stone unturned to discover how to be the best manager and carve a niche for yourself. Stay tuned because every question lurking in your mind will be answered if only you read it right till the last word .
Collaboration is working effectively with others towards a shared goal. Encouraging a collaborative team and workspace should be a priority for managers as it creates a better, more enjoyable place to work. The more people enjoy working together, the more efficient and quality their work will likely be.
Establishing a collaborative environment starts with providing individual expectations and clear team goals. Each team member should be clear on what they are responsible for, who they should be working with and the organizational impact they are working towards.
When employees have been assigned a task or project, a supportive manager trusts them to complete the job. Creating a relationship with employees based on trust goes a long way in promoting a healthy workplace.
5 Mistakes a Good Manager Should Never Make
“ What are the qualities of a good manager that separate him/her from the rest of the pack?” I know what you’re thinking about right now, but have you also spent time figuring out what mistakes to avoid at all costs to be a successful manager?
No? Ok, we will sort this out. Let’s travel back to the time when we started our professional careers. Over the years, we have worked for various organizations and under different people. From all those times, we can easily pick the ones who were not that good with managing people and influencing others. And, we certainly remember those managers who were exceptionally good in their role and inspired us to be a better version of ourselves.
I’m sure most of us also remember our past managers for their good and bad managerial qualities. What was it that we didn’t like or admire about them? Were they poor or good motivators? Were they easy or difficult to access?
We might have varied opinions on our past managers, but the fact is they have all played part in shaping our careers. Make no mistake about it, the managerial role is a demanding job with additional responsibilities. You cannot act or perform the same way in a managerial role as you did as a regular employee.
I would now move on to divide this article into two parts. The first part enlightens readers on mistakes that good managers should never make, and the second part focuses on things that good managers must do. I have done this to give readers a clear and better understanding of what makes a good manager , what they are expected to do, and what not.
Remember how annoyed you used to get when your manager always used to peek over your shoulders at work? Now, remember all the nice things (pun intended) that you uttered in your mouth as you were constantly watched over by your managers many times in a day. The point here is that no employee likes to be micromanaged and a good manager must bear this in mind.
Employees want a certain degree of freedom. They want managers to feel confident in their skills and abilities to perform a given job. Intrusive observations, manipulation, and exhaustive communication send a clear message to employees that managers do not back their capabilities, which can make them feel defeated, paranoid, and unappreciated. No employee can develop his/her skills when managers do not show complete faith in their teams and individuals.
2. Spoon-feeding Solutions
Another essential quality of good managers is that they don’t serve everything to their employees on plates. Rather, they develop and fine-tune their skills in a way that they can resolve the trickiest of situations on their own. That said, some managers have this tendency of over-providing solutions for their teams. They are quick when it comes to offering solutions that their employees can find themselves with more effort than usual.
This negative habit of spoon-feeding solutions prevents employees from doing all the hard work of seeking the best solution themselves. By always helping employees with “the solutions”, managers are not allowing their team members to put their thinking caps on and take ownership of the problem at hand. Managers need not act like a school teacher who is always accessible whenever the team encounters problems.
3. Failing To Define Goals
Poor planning and the inability to define goals do not do your team any good. Some managers fail to define goals for their employees who struggle with their work throughout the day. They have no idea why they’re doing work, or what their work means for themselves and the organization they’re working for. They can’t be productive when they do not have a direction or vision for work.
They also fail to prioritize work, which means they complete projects and tasks in the wrong order. When employees don’t see career growth in their jobs, they tend to switch jobs. On the other hand, goal-setting too can backfire if objectives are overly ambitious and unattainable. Good managers always set attainable goals for employees and reward them for achieving them.
4. Leading With Egoistic Mindset
As the American proverb puts it, “ Arrogance is a kingdom without a crown. ” Hubris has always been one of the main causes of conflict and grief. Arrogant managers think that since they are in charge of their teams, it’s because they are more skilled and competent than others. Such managers tend to show their supremacy to their subordinates from time to time.
The Three Levers
Although the Romantics were mesmerized by differences, at some point, managers need to rein in their inquisitiveness, gather up what they know about a person, and put the employee’s idiosyncrasies to use. To that end, there are three things you must know about each of your direct reports:
Make the most of strengths.
It takes time and effort to gain a full appreciation of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses. The great manager spends a good deal of time outside the office walking around, watching each person’s reactions to events, listening, and taking mental notes about what each individual is drawn to and what each person struggles with. There’s no substitute for this kind of observation, but you can obtain a lot of information about a person by asking a few simple, open-ended questions and listening carefully to the answers. Two queries in particular have proven most revealing when it comes to identifying strengths and weaknesses, and I recommend asking them of all new hires—and revisiting the questions periodically.
To identify a person’s strengths, first ask, “What was the best day at work you’ve had in the past three months?” Find out what the person was doing and why he enjoyed it so much. Remember: A strength is not merely something you are good at. In fact, it might be something you aren’t good at yet. It might be just a predilection, something you find so intrinsically satisfying that you look forward to doing it again and again and getting better at it over time. This question will prompt your employee to start thinking about his interests and abilities from this perspective.
To identify a person’s weaknesses, just invert the question: “What was the worst day you’ve had at work in the past three months?” And then probe for details about what he was doing and why it grated on him so much. As with a strength, a weakness is not merely something you are bad at (in fact, you might be quite competent at it). It is something that drains you of energy, an activity that you never look forward to doing and that when you are doing it, all you can think about is stopping.
Although you’re keeping an eye out for both the strengths and weaknesses of your employees, your focus should be on their strengths. Conventional wisdom holds that self-awareness is a good thing and that it’s the job of the manager to identify weaknesses and create a plan for overcoming them. But research by Albert Bandura, the father of social learning theory, has shown that self-assurance (labeled “self-efficacy” by cognitive psychologists), not self-awareness, is the strongest predictor of a person’s ability to set high goals, to persist in the face of obstacles, to bounce back when reversals occur, and, ultimately, to achieve the goals they set. By contrast, self-awareness has not been shown to be a predictor of any of these outcomes, and in some cases, it appears to retard them.
Great managers seem to understand this instinctively. They know that their job is not to arm each employee with a dispassionately accurate understanding of the limits of her strengths and the liabilities of her weaknesses but to reinforce her self-assurance. That’s why great managers focus on strengths. When a person succeeds, the great manager doesn’t praise her hard work. Even if there’s some exaggeration in the statement, he tells her that she succeeded because she has become so good at deploying her specific strengths. This, the manager knows, will strengthen the employee’s self-assurance and make her more optimistic and more resilient in the face of challenges to come.
The focus-on-strengths approach might create in the employee a modicum of overconfidence, but great managers mitigate this by emphasizing the size and the difficulty of the employee’s goals. They know that their primary objective is to create in each employee a specific state of mind: one that includes a realistic assessment of the difficulty of the obstacle ahead but an unrealistically optimistic belief in her ability to overcome it.
And what if the employee fails? Assuming the failure is not attributable to factors beyond her control, always explain failure as a lack of effort, even if this is only partially accurate. This will obscure self-doubt and give her something to work on as she faces up to the next challenge.
Repeated failure, of course, may indicate weakness where a role requires strength. In such cases, there are four approaches for overcoming weaknesses. If the problem amounts to a lack of skill or knowledge, that’s easy to solve: Simply offer the relevant training, allow some time for the employee to incorporate the new skills, and look for signs of improvement. If her performance doesn’t get better, you’ll know that the reason she’s struggling is because she is missing certain talents, a deficit no amount of skill or knowledge training is likely to fix. You’ll have to find a way to manage around this weakness and neutralize it.