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How to be a good manager

IN EVERY large organisation, there is a hierarchy of management that keeps the whole operation running smoothly. Whether you are a senior (upper level) manager, middle manager, or supervisor, you are responsible for directing people so the organisation's goals are accomplished.


A good manager can motivate people, learn from previous mistakes, and gain respect from a team. Here are some tips on how to be a good manager:

STEPS

1 Motivate people. What makes employees choose to work in an organisation? Ask them how they are liking their job on a regular basis. Encourage them to be honest with you. Be a good listener, and take action based on what they tell you. If health is important to them, give them time to go to the gym and work out. If their family is important, respect their time. Our values are what make us "tick". If you manage by respecting your team's values, they will give you 110% of their effort.

2 Delegate. You are a manager because you are good at what you do, but that does not mean you are supposed to do it ALL. A manager's job is to teach other people how to do a good job. If you are uncomfortable with delegating, this can be a huge learning step for you.

One way is to start small. Take the opportunity to teach and empower your employees, then gradually give them tasks with greater responsibility as you come to understand their strengths and weaknesses and anticipate their problems so you can coach them properly.

3 Keep the door open. Always remind people that if they have any questions or concerns, you are ready and willing to listen. Don't make an employee feel like he is "bothering" you when he brings up a question or concern. Instead of seeing it as another crisis to manage. Look at it as an opportunity to show employees that your organisation is a fulfilling place to work in. Never minimise or dismiss their concerns, and always make sure you have answered their questions completely.

4 Make room for learning. As a manager, you take responsibility for other people's actions, so the last thing you want to do is to be responsible for someone else's mistakes. In an attempt to be proactive and prevent some managers may give employees careful instructions with strict standards. By doing so, you may make them overly dependent on you and end up checking with you about every little thing. This will make the team less effective and unnecessarily drains a big portion of your time. Trust people to do the right thing and give them a fair margin of error.

5 Learn from your own mistakes. When things don't turn out the way you expected, recognise what you could have done differently, and verbalise this to your employees. Whenever you are doing something correctly after having done it incorrectly in the past, let whoever is watching know. This shows that you make mistakes to and how they should handle their own mistakes.

6 Treat everyone equally. Most of us are not as egalitarian as we would like to be. Many times, favouritism happens at a subconscious level as people give preference to those who remind them of themselves than those who make the biggest contributions to the organisation. Monitor your own behaviour carefully, and make sure you are not accidentally short-changing those who make the most progress in achieving the organisation's goals.

Tips

Expand Your Job

If your current job isn't all it is cracked up to be, think of ways you can expand it. Go beyond your job description and turn it into something exciting and dynamic, suited to your evolving skill set.

Look for unfulfilled gaps. These are the gaps through which unsolved problems fall and there are always some around. If you can see solutions and nobody else is paying much attention, you can advance well by finding the ideal solutions.

Note the opportunities as they arise. If you notice how things could be done better, more clearly, faster, etc., note them down and work through them when you can.

Think about who else you can bring on board to help expand your job or support you. If other people can confirm what you are doing is needed and useful, then you are more likely to get managerial buy-in.

Find ways to present your solutions clearly. Be organised about your solutions and keep records, notes, photos, etc., of progress and results so you can demonstrate the improvements with ease.

Make sure that working on these issues is not detracting from your assigned job, otherwise it may harm your career, if you are not doing your job properly. So make sure that is taken care of before taking on additional tasks.

Source: New Straits Times - Mon, Jul 25, 2011 - 1Klassifieds
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