According to one proverb, only a bad leader needs heroic soldiers, seeing as how a competent one could do well even with ordinary recruits. Same goes in the world of business. In order to get better results with the same business structure, the same team and the same equipment, you need to improve your skills as a manager. Here are several tips that could help you out with this.
While it may seem like a great idea to learn a thing or two about your employees, it is usually a bad practice to fraternize with them outside of work. Keep in mind that you are their superior and they are your subordinates, which means that developing a personal relationship may serve as a cause for allegations of favoritism.
Furthermore, a personal relationship you develop may also cloud your judgment. This is what is commonly known as falling into the charisma-trap. Some people are extremely skilled with presenting their abilities in a better light and allowing them to get closer may make their job at deceiving you significantly easier.Keep your files in check
One of the mistakes that inexperienced managers make is believing that they had to memorize everything. There is an anecdote that Albert Einstein couldn’t give an answer to a fairly simple question of what is the speed of the sound. His excuse was that it was pointless to memorize the fact that can so easily be accessed at any time by just opening a book.
This is an idea you need to try and apply in practice. However, the key to succeeding in this game lies in the proper organization so that you can find the piece of information you need at the moment’s notice. All the files you have in digital form need to be organized by folders with descriptive names. As for the documents you keep in non-digital form, you might want to try getting Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo and labeling each box or drawer you keep them in.
Personalize your conversation style
Sure, some may argue that a great boss is primarily egalitarian (after all, didn’t we speak against favoritism in the first section), nonetheless, this is not always the most efficient course of action. According to Ancient Chinese philosopher and general Sun Tzu, if the order is unclear, the fault for it not being executed lies on the commander and not the subordinates. Different members of your team may require different means of communication, which is something you may want to try to adapt to. A message you send won’t be received same by your introvert and extrovert employees so choose your words carefully.Encourage autonomy
Finally, the last thing you need to keep in mind is that you don’t have to micro-manage absolutely everything. This is a bad practice for several reasons, two major ones being that A) it’s exhausting for you as a leader and B) it is incredibly discouraging for your employees. The easiest way to show your employees your lack of trust in their judgment and abilities is to babysit them even during the execution of the simplest tasks. On the other hand, by encouraging them to act autonomously, you will make your job a lot easier and even provide your team with a significant boost in motivation.
At the end of the day, these four ideas are just the tip of the iceberg of all the skills you need to adopt in order to become a better manager. Some honorable mentions are learning how to hire and fire people and finding a precise and non-intimidating way to provide feedback. Nevertheless, by just managing to invest a bit of your time and effort in the above-listed four issues, you will make a noticeable improvement and get one step closer to becoming a true leader.