Sometimes I see articles about the many ways we can fail as managers. How about a short piece on the ways we can succeed? If we can show our people by example how to function successfully in the work world then we´ve accomplished two things: 1. the smooth operations of an office and 2. demonstrating by example how to do it. But before you can be a good teacher you need to decide on your attitude: are you going to embrace and motivate or alienate and rule by fear? Some managers revel in the "tough guy" mold, convincing themselves that that´s the only way to get things done. Well, you can talk yourself into believing just about anything, especially if any kind of introspection seems threatening.
Here are five strategies that instead, might, encourage you to look inward at your own management style.
1. Consider the possibility of change. Although it´s often easier to stick easier to stick with the status quo incorporating a change, especially one that´s introduced by a knowledgeable staff, can improve your operations in significant ways. But to do this, you need to listen to your staff. Let them know that their opinions count, particularly when it comes to making improvements.
2. Take a look in the mirror. Sometimes our reactions to things are not what we imagine. Maybe we scowl or perhaps we roll our eyes. Both actions speak, you guessed it, louder than words and can do a real number on morale. So in addition to being careful with your words, take some caution, too, in those powerful nonverbal cues.
3. Let your people learn from their mistakes and discover their own solutions. As a manager, you´re good at solving dilemmas. But wouldn´t it be great if you could let your team do some problem solving, too? And when you´re providing feedback try to stop short of offering the complete text on how to do it right. Ask you people what they would do and then really listen to what they have to say. Just because you have authority over people doesn´t mean you always have to use it.
4. Instead of criticizing and attacking take a positive approach. Confident managers know the value of maintaining an open door policy. That includes allowing and even encouraging people to question your ideas. Certainly, people should be professional, but if someone is critical of something you do and offers his or her opinion in a constructive manner then maybe you need to listen.
5. Make a commitment to incorporate trust in the workplace. Oh, sure, who has time for that? Who doesn´t is the question. In a new book, "Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace: Building Effective Relationships in Your Organization," authors Dennis S. Reina and Michelle L. Reina say that "Business is conducted through relationships, and trust is the foundation of effective relationships." [I´ll study the book in more detail and share some highlights next week"?¦]. Without trust your relationships have no backbone