Many managers that I know, are weak in leadership. Be it General Managers, Presidents or Project Managers.
They may be good in managing projects but they are not trained or taught to manage people well.
In my humble opinion, there are few areas that a managers need to address.
1. Be Generous in Complimenting
Yes. People made mistakes. General Manager does make mistakes too. They could make the wrong biggest business judgement or investment.
However, if people do make an effort to try and fulfill a task they are not familiar. Be generous with your compliment, it makes no harm. In fact, the correct amount of compliment given at the right time, will boost up the team member morale and performance. If you keep commenting negative feedback, not constructive ones. In the long run, can you tell me who wants to work with you? You are belittling, condemning others at their expense.
Too much compliment is also counter-productive as it does not provide the impact. As an effective manager, try to compliment your members or team when a great milestone is achieved.
Is it difficult to compliment? I don’t think so.
It is your sincerity and the guts to open your mouth.
How to compliment? You can offer many ways.
A. Verbal compliment: Say few nice words to the member, Like “Good job, well done”. If saying these words are your daily routine, then this does not have any meaning and impact. Give a simple sincere shoulder tap to show that you care and appreciate their work. One simple gesture will eventually last for a long time.
I have seen a senior manager seeking the meeting members to give standing ovation to an outstanding staff. I find that, there is too much of a praise. Though may give a boost for others to follow the good work. But there will be a repercussion of bias.
B. Email compliment: Write a few good words/ paragraphs to the team member praising for their hard work.
Such good compliment, if good, may ended up forwarding to the Human Resource department by function manager and warrant for a job promotion.
On the flip side, do not give sarcastic compliment.
Compliment and then follow up by negative feedback, such as “good job but the report was sent late.”
People will want a wholehearted compliment. Recipients can tell whether the words from your mouth are sincere or not.
If you have not compliment your staff lately, try attempting similar suggestions as above. You will see the change in performance.
Delegate professionally. Not ‘throw’ every project task to anyone anyhow and then you expect him to figure out the solution. Do ensure the member has capability and has the capacity to do the job you give.
It will be horrendous if you assign a job that the member cannot execute. Though it is a learning opportunity for the member. However, the project will face many issues and timeline will stretched unnecessary.
Some senior managers that I encounter, they throw their weights around in office and delegate anyhow and pushes the responsibilities to others. They misuse their rank and abuse their staff using his authority. From his standpoint, there is no wrong to demand standard. From the recipient standpoint, you have spoil the working relationship.
Project Managers are supposed to communicate.
According to project management literature, they are supposed to communicate regularly, close to 90%.
With clear communication, clarity and direction will be given.
Every team member will understand the approach and direction.
Many like to communicate using email instead of face-to-face. Bosses are so busy that instructions & delegation are done through email. People likes to communicate in front of their computer system; eventually they will lose the power of human communication.
4. Human Chemistry
Though you manage projects by result. However, there are times, the productivity, performance and efficiency are better if you have a better relationship with team or customer.
If you are a performance freak and you cannot tolerate any error. Chances that you will start to micro-manage. You are going to lose the respect and confidence from staff.
You need to give staffs the leeway to try and explore the ways to execute certain task. As a good leader or manager, you need to buy in their trust and respect.
In Asia where I was residing, most results are swiftly performed, are based on relationships. Merely using the authority, document, policy to push the staffs, they will tend to slow down the process. Efficiency will not be achieved.
The same sentence and words will portray different message if you use different tonality. As a leader, you need to take care of such soft communication.
Even if you are the General Manager, Senior Management level, you need to be extra humble and be careful with your speech tonality.
Senior manager can still seek the same result using different approach. Using a strong speech tone will never win the hearts. The member will execute the task but you will just get the bear minimum result; over achieved result will not be seen.
However, if the working relationship is good, then your staff or team member will reciprocate by contributing more.
6. Impartial Decision
As a manager, you have to be impartial. Cannot be bias.
If not, team member can see that you are not partial in your judgement, thus they will feel like working under a poor judgement and unbalanced manager.
You will lose team’s respect. Especially when one of your team member is your friend or ex-colleague.
As a fair leader, be fair. Not given special treatment when they are your drinking friends or lunch partner. Time will tell if you are a real manager or just an act.
Leadership is a tricky business. Want to learn to be great.
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