- Knowledge Centre
5 Ways To Become A More Credible Manager
Management Development Tips
Here are 5 top tips on how you can boost your personal effectiveness as a manager without attending a management training course. When you consistently apply these tips for ten consecutive days, you’ll soon begin to notice very positive changes and improvements.
Tip 1. ENSURE THAT YOU ACTIVELY EQUIP, ENABLE AND ENCOURAGE YOUR TEAM MEMBERS TO DO A GREAT JOB
Too many managers are so focused on the process of getting the job done that they often overlook, or completely forget, about the need to support their people in delivering the outputs required in a structured, (and hopefully) stress free manner. I do hope that this isn’t you?
Finding and taking time to effectively brief your team members on what you expect from them, why you expect it, how you will support them to achieve their targets and goals, and being genuinely supportive, will boost clarity, develop shared responsibility for the delivery of outputs and achievement of goals, and, develop high trust collaborative relationships along the way too.
If you’re thinking that doing this is a little ‘touchy feely’ and not worth investing a little time and focus in, put yourself in your team members shoes. Would you prefer a Manager who tells you what to do, and then doesn’t offer support, or would you prefer a Manager who is more like the example above?
How you support your team (or not) will define whether your team members work with you or against you. It’s quite an easy choice when you think about it, isn’t it?
Tip 2. FOCUS ON THE FEW THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER… RATHER THAN THE MANY THINGS THAT REALLY DON’T!
Many managers wrongly believe that if they haven’t got multiple projects, with conflicting deadlines and a hundred or more emails to deal with, something is wrong. Thinking time, reflection time, planning time, can be viewed as a little strange, even uncomfortable.
In reality, there are just a few things that you need to do that really matter and add value to your organisation. They are preparing, planning, delegating, collaborating and focusing on achieving specific, value adding outputs. I recommend Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people programme to you for more on this subject.
Consider this. How many meetings do you attend through habit or duty, rather than because you add value? Too many I expect. How many times each day is your attention diverted from what you are doing, because your email ‘pings‘ or you simply check it anyway because you’re either bored, or not wanting to feel vulnerable by potentially missing out on something ‘important‘ landing in your inbox?
Switch your email alert to silent and remove any on screen notification too. They are worthless, wasteful distractions that top performing managers learn to ignore and place little value on. Politely decline to attend those meetings where you don’t need to be, but to which you currently go anyway.
Invest a little more in quiet time at, or away from your desk so that you can develop real clarity on what is really important (and why), and what activities are deserving and in positive need of your attention each and every day.
Top performing managers proactively manage their emotional and mental focus and time rather than having time manage them. Will you do it too and begin moving towards the top 1% of managers in your organisation?
Tip 3. LEARN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS
Being technically competent is a very positive start in your management career. At the very least, if you’re not yet technically competent as a manager, you should consider having a structured personal development plan in place to become competent and confident in your role. This includes the people aspects of management as well as processes and systems.
In the rush to deliver tough targets, many managers unwittingly stop asking their team members how they can support them. The top 1% of managers do exactly the opposite. They continually ask team members ‘What are two things I can do to help you do an even better job?’ and ‘If there were two ways I could support you more effectively, what would they be?’
Simple questions right? But very powerful questions which boost communication, collaboration and trust between you the Manager, and your team members.
If you want to develop and maintain an emotionally engaged, committed and highly motivated team, you need to go first. You need to consistently demonstrate the behaviours, attitudes and standards you want your team members to demonstrate, collectively and individually. It’s not as hard a task as it might sound. In fact, with a little practice, it becomes less awkward and uncomfortable, and develops in to a low maintenance habit with a very positive up-side. Try it for ten days and notice the difference.
Tip 4. DON’T ABDICATE…DELEGATE
You don’t have to do everything and you don’t have to know everything either. Did you know this?
Some managers refuse to delegate tasks to team members because they believe that sharing of information is a loss of power and status. Some managers delegate, but without structure, clarity or agreed support for their colleague, and it can feel more like ‘abdication‘ rather than delegation. Either of these two positions is potentially damaging to your organisation. And they are most definitely potentially damaging to you, your reputation and your personal credibility.
Highly effective managers delegate effectively, viewing the allocation of tasks and projects to colleagues as a value-adding activity. Indeed, when done correctly, delegation can serve to be a powerful trust and team building activity. It develops and spreads skills within and across your team and, allows you, the manager, to focus on doing those few things that really matter while your colleagues feel genuinely supported in developing their skills, expertise and knowledge in specific areas.
Yes, you will be a supportive coach during the delegation process, and you will also share responsibility for the successful delivery of the required output, but you won’t be doing tasks and projects that, properly planned, others can undertake.
Tip 5. REMEMBER TO CATCH PEOPLE DOING THINGS RIGHT
It’s all too easy to catch people doing things wrong and then reprimand them for their errors. After all, the human brain doesn’t enjoy having to deal with people and situations that cause it a headache!
Highly effective managers, as well as addressing inferior, poor or unacceptable performance and/or behaviour, are also adept at catching team members doing things right. They are constantly on the lookout for exemplary performance, that little extra effort, and that fantastically positive attitude that continues to shine through even when potential solutions to a seemingly insurmountable problem are being explored.
Such managers express genuine gratitude to team members who do that little extra, stay late to complete a task or resolve an issue, even though they didn’t have to and weren’t expected to. Do you? If you do, do you do it enough? Do you do it at the right time, for the right reasons, and do you do it authentically?
I am not suggesting you scour your office to provide shallow praise to your colleagues. I am though inviting you to notice the good things that your people do, and this way not only will they appreciate your attention and thanks, you’ll also develop a more loyal team who go the extra mile through personal choice, rather than obligation.
Our extensive research has identified that the top 1% of managers continuously practice the activities you have just read, and their practice pays significant dividends in terms of improved motivation, performance, quality and productivity. Why not give them a go for just ten consecutive days and see how things improve?
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