Want to be a better manager? Here are some tips!
Now, being a good boss can seem like an impossible task. I mean, how do you balance the needs of your team with the demands from above? How do you know when to trust your employees and when not to? And what about all those other difficult decisions that come up every day in the course of running a business or organization—how is anyone supposed to keep track of them all? These are just some of the questions any leader might ask themselves on their way to work each morning. But it’s worth pointing out that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for managing people. The key is finding which management style works best for you and then letting that guide your management strategy.
What is your style?
There are a number of different ways managers approach their day-to-day business, and each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. There’s the autocratic manager, for example—this person rules his or her team with an iron fist while focusing on big picture issues. Then there’s the benevolent manager, who focuses on that same big picture but loves being in constant communication with team members to ensure they are happy and productive. There are also democratic managers who give their teams a great deal of freedom while keeping them updated on progress and challenges. Finally, we have the coaching manager—this type of boss trusts his team to take the reins and run with their own ideas. Which style you adopt depends largely on your personality, as well as the kind of company culture you’re trying to establish.
What should I keep in mind?
Well, first off don’t be afraid to try out different styles at various points throughout your career, after all, things change. The needs of your business and its employees will vary from year to year, so it’s important that you stay flexible. Additionally, all managers will experience times when they feel like their team isn’t working for them. If this is the case, it might be time to take a look in the mirror. As much as you hate to admit it, there are times when nobody else is at fault for your team’s lack of productivity—sometimes it’s just you.
Manage your team well
One of the most important parts of learning how to manage others is understanding that not all management styles work equally well for everyone. You may be a great boss, but if you’re not providing the right environment for your employees to thrive, they will eventually become unhappy and, more importantly, ineffective. For this reason alone it is critical that managers take the time to get to know their staff—understand their background, motivations, goals and aspirations.
In the end, management is a skill that takes time to learn. If you’re struggling with your team and don’t know how to manage them effectively, take some time out of your day for introspection. Figure out what kind of manager you are—autocratic? Democratic? Benevolent or coaching? And then use this knowledge as a guide when managing others in the future.