You know the feeling.
You want to be a great manager. You want to stick to your principles. You want to lead. But you're having a hardenough time just getting through Thursday. You've been drowning in work all week. There's much more yet to be done. It's been tough. You're stressed out. Managing people is hard. You think about it every day. You wish there was a simple path. There's not.
Let's be honest. We're all guilty of the blunders below. But if you want engaged, happy, and productive employees, you need to always make an effort. It's never too late to show that you're a manager who still gives a crap.
Here are a few manager blunders we've all seen, and how to turn things around:
1. Don’t be opaque. Everyone loves transparency. Don't try to hide things from your staff. Openness can actually be a great way to help people take ownership in the process and make good decisions.
2. Don’t let the personal affect the professional. Dragging your personal life into the office has impacts well beyond the ones you can see. Far more than simply taking up time and making you less productive and effective, your mood and is affected. Your quality. Your ability to communicate. Looking at this from another angle, your personal preferences can keep team members from being effective in their own right, making their own decisions. Let them do things their way. They will likely surprise you.
3. Don’t forget to ask about them. Your employees care about things outside of work just like you do. Show you care. Ask about them. Take an interest.
4. Don’t get angry. Anger is intimidating, and it makes people not want to share things with you. If you feelthe urge, duck out for a few minutes. Work through it.
5. Don’t be cold or distant. See #4. Enough said.
6. Don’t vacillate on priorities. Just like transparency, clear direction helps set the stage for how to proceed. Making sure everyone knows where you're headed as a team enables them to make their own decisions to help you all get there.
7. Don’t pass the buck. Take responsibility for your actions. Don’t pass the blame for missteps to your employees. You'll lose respect, and nothing will send great staffers out the door than that.
8. Don’t be unresponsive. Your employees are trying to get stuff done. To keep things moving, answer their questions and needs. Pay attention. No matter how busy you are, this is crucial.
9. Don’t forget to show public support. Everyone loves a little recognition, especially in front of peers. Remember to plug a good effort whenever it happens, whether by email or at staff meeting.
10. All work and no play makes for a dull, crappy manager. And it results in resignation letters.
Management can be hard work, but morale and engagement are your currency. Tired or not, it's your job to make sure both are high, and little things every day can make all the difference.
Need to know how you're stacking up. Why don't you start asking your employees? If you keep it anonymous with a tool like TINYpulse, they'll tell you the truth.