Sunday, August 15, 2010

What Makes a Good Manager?

The question is what makes a 'good' manager, not a perfect manager. Perfect managers do not exist because perfect people do not exist. But there is a big difference between good bosses and bad bosses. So what can you do to be a good boss?

Ask questions

Nobody likes to work for a know-it-all. Managers who 'know it all' make employees feel unappreciated and as if they were not needed. Good bosses realize that their employees operate in the value zone - they have direct contact with customers or produce the goods the company is selling. Employees often have the expertise to tell the higher-ups how products or customer service could be improved. Asking questions often and including employees' expertise in the decision-making process can fast-track a manager's career and increase productivity. Implementing processes to continuously seek employees input can help in creating a 'best places to work'-type organizational culture.

Be interesting

It is amazing how many managers still operate in 'command and control' mode. Think of comics depicting 'the nagging wife' - the concept of 'nagging' does not produce desired long-term results. You want your employees to be creative, accountable and take charge. You want them to be proud of what they do - even if their job is to clean the bathroom in a fast food restaurant. Convey to your employees the mission, vision and values of your organization and make them part of the business. Connect them to the organization. By doing so, you will make their work more enjoyable. Show some humor, learn about employees' hobbies, be authentic and show that you are about a greater vision - not just about yourself. By being interesting and shifting focus on your company's mission, vision and values, you will create a solid foundation for motivating your staff.

Control your emotions

The Leadership Freak suggests doing the opposite of what one feels. If you feel like you deserve praise, give it. If you feel like pitying yourself, pity someone else who works longer or more difficult hours (many people never have a weekend off and work on holidays). If you feel like you deserve attention, pay very good attention to someone else's problems or accomplishments. You will learn that this is one of the best ways to 'get over' yourself. In addition, if you have had a bad day and are about to bark at your cleaning service, ask yourself, "Do I really mean to act negatively?" In reality, you probably want these particular workers to continue doing a great job. So tell them that and smile instead of venting your frustrations. It is surely difficult to always appear as if you have all your ducks in a row and to not become unkind when stressed, but with a little bit of experience and an informal network of friends, family and peers who will help you find balance, you can learn to effectively control your emotions without feeling burned out.

We created a social network just for managers. Visit us to get tips and advice from fellow managers and learn how your company can provide innovative training for new managers.

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