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Be a great manager with these five strategies:
Take a step back and reflect on your own areas of strengths and
weaknesses, and this will enable you to be more effective in leading
your team. A critical element of reflection is having the opportunity
to receive feedback from your team about your own performance as a
manager and leader, and the suggestions they provide to improve your
performance.Nobody is perfect and there are always opportunities for
continuous improvement both for yourself and your team.
Take the time to brainstorm and think about the areas you would like
to develop and improve. This will then help you outline a plan to help
you reach these goals. A team will respect a manager who is not
complacent about their own skill set, is committed to their own
development, and strives for constant improvement and change. This is
a great way to build faith and trust with your team, and reinforce
your commitment to the development of yourself and your team.
This leads to our second point of perfecting the balancing act.
Before a manager can effectively manage a team, a manager needs to
learn how to manage their own workload efficiently. Strong
time-management skills are key to leading by example with your team.
Perfecting the balancing act requires prioritisation, the ability to
delegate tasks and knowing when to say ‘no’. To help you prioritise,
you should make a list of tasks that need immediate attention whilst
unimportant tasks can be pushed back to the following day. Daily to-do
lists, planners and notebooks will help you feel more on top of your
workload, which will help you avoid unneeded stress and missed
deadlines. This isn’t rocket science, but getting into the habit takes
practice and finding the system that works for you is critical.
When your current workload is overwhelming you, delegate tasks to
your team, remember to take into account their own skillsets and work
capacity. Lastly, it’s common for people to overestimate their
capacity, thus taking on more tasks than they can handle. This is very
easy to do and as good managers, we have to be aware of our own
tendencies to do this and accept that sometimes it is better to say
‘not now’, rather than take on too much and not achieve to the
expectations required. All these simple tips will help you perfect
your balancing act. Rather than be seen as frazzled and unorganised,
you will be setting a great example for your team.
Fostering an environment of open communication and encouraging your
team to share their thoughts and opinions is key to managing a high
performing team. One of the biggest complaints of employees in the
workplace is that they don’t feel heard, which can lead to unhappy and
unmotivated teams. Providing opportunities and taking the time to
listen to your team will allow them to feel valued and facilitate a
stronger collaborative working environment. It is important to
remember that you will experience times when team members don’t always
agree with you or decisions that have been made, and this should be
encouraged and not silenced. The opportunities for teams to question,
seek clarification or put forward alternative points of view are key
elements to enable teams to thrive and develop. Open dialogue and
opportunities to achieve mutually beneficial conclusions, reinforces
the acknowledgement and appreciation of all team members. These
opportunities to connect with your team can be achieved in a number of
ways, including scheduling one-on-one meetings, informal team catch
ups, or even a more structured feedback system.
An important element of being an effective manager is your ability to
deal with conflict and difficult situations. Facing it in a timely
manner, rather than avoiding it is critical in situations where there
may be an underperforming or inappropriate employee. It is important
that the manager addresses the issues to ensure that the situation
does not have a negative impact on the morale of the whole team.
Remember, planning and preparing is important for addressing the issue
in an appropriate way.
You may need to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the team member to
raise the concern with them and provide them the opportunity to
present their perspective. This will enable you to evaluate the
situation based on the information you have received and develop the
best plan of approach. There will be a range of options that you can
utilise to resolve the issues depending on your organisational
policies and procedures, and the sooner this process is commenced -
the more effective it will be for all involved. Dealing with workplace
conflict and issues in an efficient way will not only help with the
smooth running of the organisation, but you will be seen as a
respected, proactive and fair manager.
When communicating the vision with your team, it is important to
include them as part of the process. Whilst not everyone may fully
agree or be aligned with the same vision, it is important that you
provide the opportunities to share the vision and what it means for
the organisation. Sharing this with the team and providing
opportunities for the team to contribute to bringing the vision to
life will generate a higher level of respect and acceptance, and
hopefully shape a shared commitment for the team to achieve the
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