There are 2 types of manager: the awesome ones and the terrible ones. That’s right. There is no-one in between. Noone in the history of business has ever said that their manager is average or okay. This is a polarized kind of role.
This means that if you want to be an awesome manager, you need to learn the tricks of the trade early on, before you can be branded with the wrong types. Luckily, there are all kinds of management tips that will come in useful and this is something that you can learn on the job.
Great leaders are people who can persuade others to follow them and can naturally assert themselves. These are skills you can learn, as long as you know where to look.
If you are new to management, one of the best ways to learn all the new skill you will need is to go on a management course. This will set you up with all the right answers for every situation so that when you join your team, you will know exactly what you need to do and say to get the right response.
While we don’t all have the luxury of taking time out of work to do a course, it is actually often better to study and work side by side so that you can practice while you go along. For example, doing an mba in strategy online outside of work will both inform how you work and how you study. It might be tough to do everything at once but the experience will stand you in good stead for moving yet another step up the career ladder.
There is no limit to what a great manager can learn so keep your eye out for opportunities to develop your skills. But, you should also look out for opportunities for your team to build them up and develop their skills. This will show them that you are aware of how they can improve and you are prepared to help them up the career ladder too.
Be Clear About What You are Looking For
One of the worst things in business is when someone gives a vague instruction and then gets mad when someone presents completely the wrong thing. Communication is critical and you can’t afford to be anything less than crystal clear when you are giving out instructions or setting tasks.
Because people like to be nice, they often use flowery language that is more of a suggestion than an instruction. While this might make you more popular for about 5 minutes, as soon as it becomes clear that no-one knows what you’re on about, you will need to change tack. Bullet points with deadlines might look strict but in reality, you are just doing your job and this is the best way to deliver the information. Everyone has a different definition of ‘soon’ so while you don’t need to give a to-the-minute breakdown, you should at least specify the day the work is due.
Finally, you need to make sure that you have been clear by asking your staff if they understand. See whether they have any questions before you begin and then follow up later on to see how they are doing.
Recognise Great Work Every Time
Telling high achievers that they have done a great job is the best way to motivate them to continue doing a great job. If you fail to acknowledge their efforts, they will simply shift them to get acknowledgement elsewhere – even if that means getting another job! Lucky for you, there are a lot of ways to say ‘great job!’ so you won’t sound like a stuck record.
If you want to really acknowledge great work then there are a few other rewards you can think of from bringing in cake to letting everyone take Friday afternoon off. This is a good way to reward your team after they have put in a whole load of extra effort and have pulled something amazing off.
When people do well, they like it when others notice and an awesome manager always notices. Your team won’t need you to throw a party with a bouncy castle and balloons every single time, but they do at least want you to acknowledge that you like what they have done. Being an awesome manager is about being there for your team, showing them that you support them at all times and helping them with their career too.
Anyone can be an awesome manager, it just takes practice.