5 Ways To Boost Manager Performance
Thousands of managers have told me in one way or another that they do want to become more effective managers, but either don't know how to achieve this goal, or, simply don't get the opportunities to develop themselves. Here are 5 top tips on how you can boost your effectiveness as a manager.
1. Ensure that your team members are equipped, enabled, encouraged 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. Taking time to effectively brief your team members 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.
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. In reality, there are a few things that really matter and add value to your organisation, and they are preparing, 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.
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?
Switch your email alert to silent and remove any on screen notification too. They are worthless distractions. Politely decline to attend those meetings where you don't need to be, but you go anyway.
3. Learn Emotional Intelligence Skills
Being technically competent is a given. At the very least, if you're not yet technically competent as a manager, you should have a structured development plan in place to become competent and confident in your role.
In the rush to deliver tough targets, many managers unwittingly stop asking their team members how they can support them. 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.
4. Learn To Delegate... and do it!
You don't have to do everything. 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. Some other managers delegate, but without structure or support for their colleague, it can feel more like 'abdication' rather than delegation. Either of these two positions is potentially damaging to your organisation.
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 building activity, it develops skills within and across your team and, allows you, the manager, to focus on doing those few things that really matter. 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.
5. Catch People Doing Things Right
It's all too easy to catch people doing things wrong and then reprimand them for their errors. 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.
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?
I'm not promoting you scour your office to provide shallow praise to your colleagues. I am 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.
Posted by Scott Watson on January 5, 2015