As a manager, you will always be asked to do more things. On top of what you have already signed up to do, people will drop by your cube, catch your arm in the hall, and corner you in meetings and will come up with additional things to add to the already full plate of tasks that you have in front of you.
It can be all too easy for us to deal with these situations by simply saying “I’ll do that”. Do this enough, and all too quickly you’ll discover that you are now juggling too much for any one person to get done.
When this happens, you need to start to use the greatest skill that a manager has: focus.
With a little luck, most of us spend our time trying to become good managers. However, we realize that the world has a number of different types of managers in it and this means that there are both good managers and bad managers out there.
It turns out that one of the main reasons that employees leave a firm is because they find themselves working for a bad manager.
Although we don’t want to become bad managers, it might be useful to take a close look at what manager skills bad managers use to drive employees away so that we don’t find ourselves doing these things.
Oh my goodness – can you believe just how hard it is to find the right person to join your team?
I mean think about it: we craft the perfect job description, wade through a pile of resumes, use our manager skills to interview far too many people by phone, invite a few in to take up our day and meet with us, and then finally make someone an offer. If we get lucky and they are still available and are still interested in working for our company, then perhaps we’ve found the next person to work for us.
However, then comes the most difficult part of the process which is the one that we’ve had no manager training for: convincing them to not quit.
Can anyone remember going to kindergarten? Way back then life was a lot simpler. We all had a set of rules that were given to us on how to behave (say “thank you”, be kind to others, listen to what the teacher has to say, etc.). Now perhaps not everyone followed each of these rules all of the time, but at least we all knew what the rules were and could always refer back to them.
Now move forward into the future in which we are now living. Incivility and it’s close cousin bullying are becoming a bigger issue in the workplace.
What is a manager to do?
So congratulations, as a manager you are already a leader. However, if you are like most of us you could probably become a better leader.
If you took the time to take a look at all of your manager skills, where do you think that your biggest leadership challenge lies? The way that you can identify this is by spending some time thinking about where you’ve had the biggest challenges – communications? Hiring? Team performance?
It turns out that there are three traits that define managers who are good leaders. Perhaps we should be working on getting some manager training and improving all of these…?
As a manager, you are responsible for using your manager skills to manage a team of professionals. This means that you have to spend time with each member of your team in order to make sure that they have a good understanding of where they want their career to go and how they are going to achieve it.
At the the same time, you need to have a good understanding of where you want your career to go.
Likewise, once you know what you want, you’re going to have to know how you can go about making it happen.
So what kind of workplace do you work in? No, I’m not asking about the kind of furniture you have, what the view out the window looks like, or how comfortable the chairs are. Instead, what I’d like to know is just exactly how toxic is it?
Surveys have been taken that reveal that 64% of people reported that they were currently working with someone that they considered to be toxic. A whopping 94% said that they had worked with someone who was toxic at some point in their career.
It looks like we may have a problem that has to be solved by a manager here using your manager skills.
The way that most work gets done is when we create a team of professionals, tell them what needs to be done, and then send them off to accomplish it. However, that is not always what happens.
We’ve all had experiences with teams that we’ve used our manager skills to build that have struggled to accomplish their goals, have fought with each other, and generally have not gotten along very well. We know what failure looks like.
What can a manager do in order to boost the chances that a team that he or she is responsible for will be a success?
So how are things going for you at work? Are you getting along with everyone – especially your boss? Or are you starting to get left out of meetings that you used to get invited to? Are the people that you work with starting to become cool towards you? Has your boss stopped having conversations with you?
Bad things may becoming your way and you may not even realize it…
In the day-to-day activities of a manager, most of us really don’t spend all that much time thinking about our company’s corporate culture. However, it turns out that it really does matter. If your company has a bad corporate culture, then it’s going to have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line results, its reputation, and in the end, recruitment. It sure seems as though managers need to start spending some time using their manager skills to look into how they can improve the company’s culture.