I love this post from Tom Foster over at the Management Skills Blog.
Aahh, the power of being genuinely interested in your team members! Notice that I did not write "showing interest?" I have known a few managers who have taken advice to "be more interested" and translated it in their "not actually interested" brains to mean they should temporarily ask a few questions.
The Fake-Manager-Radar (we all have one implanted in our brain – it’s very accurate) will be going crazy. People sense when we are doing some management technique versus when we are genuinely interested. Do whatever you need to BE interested and show that interest. It will make a tremendous difference. If you choose to not be interested, that will be obvious to your team members.
And if this is your choice, I wonder why you have chosen to be a manager? Management is a social act.
I was working with a client yesterday and a related topic came up. I was discussing a manager with a department director. The director said his manager was an outstanding employee – super. In later conversations I found out that this manager is regarded as smart and dedicated, but is driving everyone crazy because he shows no interest in others, is inflexible, and generally deemed difficult to work with.
How can a manager be both SUPER and difficult to work with?