Every manager hits bumps in the road while racking up their managerial experience. You know – your team has come up short on a project, you’re over budget or perhaps you’re understaffed and your team is burning out while struggling to keep up. How you work through these situations, including your behavior, attitude and actions, can be as telling as the outcome. Are you a mediocre manager or an awe inspiring one? A mediocre manager will lead a team to accomplish goals while a great manager empowers, educates and appreciates each team members’ skills and unique characteristics along the way.
Here are 7 signs that you are on the path to becoming an exceptional motivating manager:
Sign #1: You’re excellent at communication. The big C. Your employees are ‘in the know’. When a manager is able to effectively communicate to their team about the intended direction of the organization and the progress it’s making on those goals including the team’s contribution to them, employees feel like an important part of the team. Furthermore, when you communicate effectively on everything from the organization’s future to team members’ individual performance, then you are not surprising anyone with future decisions.
Sign #2: You regularly share the information that goes in to making key management decisions. Hand in hand with sign #1, this is a key part of communicating important information to your team. It may not be feasible or even prudent to share every little detail about management decision making. The more employees know about how decisions are made however, the more they are engaged, ask thought provoking questions and begin to truly understand the mission of your company.
Sign #3: You know your team. You know them both as individuals and how they work together. You spend a good deal of time watching each person’s reactions, listening, and taking mental notes about what makes each individual excited and what they struggle with.
Sign #4: You’re patient. While you guide your team, you allow them to learn from their mistakes and work out problems on their own. You recognize that not everyone learns or works at the same pace or in the same way.
Sign #5: You appreciate and capitalize on individual team members’ strengths. You take advantage of what is unique about each employee to build a stronger sense of team as it creates interdependency. Employees begin to appreciate one another’s talents and skills and learn that their coworkers can fill in where they are lacking. No employee, not even your best A-player, is perfectly well-rounded. You continue to tweak roles to capitalize on the uniqueness of each person.
Sign #6: You are flexible and open-minded. You understand that your way is not the only way, and you are willing to hear out alternative solutions made by other team members, whether they are higher or lower on the food chain than you.
Sign #7: You exercise humility and honesty. Your employees see you as a human being that has made mistakes, learns from those errors and prospers from the experiences, because you talk about them and share what you’ve learned. Not just the ones you’ve made in the past, but the ones you continue to learn from today. Your employees know you do not feel more important than them, and that you value each position in the organization as it contributes to the success of the whole. They value your honest feedback, because they know you are interested in their growth and are excited for them to learn from any individual or team successes and failures.
Do your managers show these signs or do they need assistance moving from mediocre to great? Tandem HR is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in the Chicago area that assists hundreds of small and mid-sized businesses with creating exceptional workplaces including leadership development. We also help clients save time and money while growing their business by taking on the administrative tasks associated with human resources, benefits, payroll, tax administration, regulatory compliance and risk management.
For more information on Tandem HR or PEOs, visit TandemHR.com or call 630.928.0510.