Learning how to manage others is one of the most challenging stages in any career. However, without acquiring key skills – and gaining an awareness of how you manage and lead others – it’s very difficult to progress. Great managers can make all the difference to the experience that employees have within a business. They can inspire and motivate a team to great things with just a few practical skills and a straightforward approach.
Few things are possible in life without effective communication but this is especially so when it comes to leading other people. The first element to effective communication is to be on top of emails, phone calls and messages – responsive and clear. The second step is in the interactions that you have on a daily basis. Do you listen to what people say, are you open to feedback and do you find it easy to avoid taking a defensive position?
Leading by example
It’s the oldest trick in the book for managers – go first where you expect others to follow. If you’re keeping your team late to work then work late too, if you expect people to take on challenges that scare them (such as public speaking), you go first.
Creating a genuine team
The word ‘team’ is often used for a group of people working together on a project. However, there is much more to creating a real team dynamic than just shared targets and space. Being an effective manager requires the ability to foster a team atmosphere, motivate the team forward and encourage genuine collaboration between those who are working together.
It’s almost impossible to separate who we are as people from who we are in a business environment and so good managers understand how to nurture whole humans, even the difficult and challenging elements. Tolerance and patience are essential when dealing with relationships at work, particularly in situations where there might be a great deal of pressure or heavy workloads. Workplace relationships can be nurtured by managers who are big on respect and trust, encouraging all colleagues to treat each other kindly and with dignity.
Understanding the importance of environment
While the personalities within the team are a key responsibility for a manager, so too is the environment in which that team is operating. Happiness at work will be a big factor in whether a team performs well and working out whether this is there is often something that falls to a manager. From a comfortable physical environment to nurturing a culture of support and hard work, managers have much more influence than simply ensuring that targets are met.
Development and progression
Happy staff have goals, motivations, dreams and objectives – and a manager has a role to play and enabling team members to strive and reach them. Being able to effectively manage is closely related to guiding those in your team to finding out what they need to do next to move forward.
We offer practical tools for reviewing and improving existing management skills. Our The Practical MBA – Managing By Your Actions course is designed to provide personal guidance on how to manage more practically and effectively.