How many of you saw someone promoted because they were good at the technical side of the job? Or experienced that yourself. But as you went into the position of overseeing a team, you were never taught how to manage and thought to yourself “how are managers made?”
If you know what I am talking about, then you aren’t alone. This is a scenario that people experience daily.
Most often, people are promoted because they were good at doing the job, have the right personality, or were simply in the right place at the right time. Then these individuals are thrown into overseeing staff with very little training and expected to know what to do and how to do it. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. This often leads to micromanaging or undermanaging.
How does one become a great manager if you don’t have management training or very little of it? How are managers made?
Like anything else, it is a practiced skill set. You won’t get better by hiding away in your office, but by actually doing the thing. The thing, in this case, is managing your people.
Here are 5 things you can do to become a better manager.
1. Actually manage.
Seems silly, right? But most managers don’t want to step on others’ toes. They don’t know what it means to manage. There are 4 formal parts to managing, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (controlling is the part where you make sure the job is getting done and the metrics are being hit). You must know how to do all 4 to be a good manager. You can’t leave out the control function as that is the feedback loop to how you plan out the work for your team.
2. Learn how your people function at work.
Every person is different. Take time to learn how they do their best work. Do they work on complicated tasks in the morning or afternoon? When are they more focused? Learn about their personality. Ask if they learn by doing, listening, or reading. Figure out how they are motivated. Use that information to help you manage them more effectively.
3. Manage all employees-not just low performers.
You must take the time to check in with your employees. It isn’t micromanaging if you are helping them. This is where number 2 comes in. After you have learned how they “work” you can manage them, the superstar and the low performer. You simply manage them differently. You check in with them on a regular schedule that is necessary for each person. And no, you don’t manage them all the same.
4. Learn to coach employees.
Companies choose to “coach” employees when they are flailing and as a last resort before firing them. This is the wrong mentality to take. You shouldn’t start coaching your employees once they have formed bad habits. You coach them to create good habits to be successful in your organization. As questions. See where they are stuck. Move obstacles out of their way. Don’t assume they know what they are doing. Be clear.
5. Set out clear expectations.
Communicating your ideas or thoughts is one thing. Having your team understand your expectations in communicating is another. Ensure your expectations of assignments and tasks are clear. If it is not being done to your standards, talk to your team member, ask them questions, and find out where the disconnect is. There is always a disconnect.
You don’t have to be a micromanager to be a good boss. But you definitely can’t undermanage if you want a successful team and career.
As a manager, what has been the most difficult part of managing a team of people?
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Stephanie German is a business strategist, adjunct professor, and speaker. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and loves giving back to her community in a variety of ways. When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to raise up the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?