Are you a management candidate or in management presently? Here is an article I wrote on tips to be good at what you do.
By: Carole DeJarnatt, Alliance Advisors, Inc.
What makes a good manager? If you are presently a manager you probably ask yourself this question frequently. If not and you are being considered for the position, take heed to the skills that are needed to be all you can be.
Why would someone who is presently a manager think or worry about what it takes to be a good manager? In all positions of life, whether work related or personal, we should want to put our best efforts forward for everyone to recognize. If you are recognized as a good manager, you have skills several people in the business world do not possess. Good skills lead to good referrals for promotions or opening doors for other positions of influence.
Not too long ago I had a Supervisor of a call center ask me for suggestions on how to improve in their position. At the time I was the Director of a department of 17 Regional Area Representatives. Here are some of the suggestions I gave:
- 1. Listen—Listen to everything your subordinates have to say. That does not mean you have to agree with them but have an ear for listening. I tried to keep an open ear to listen to everyone whether what was heard was good or bad.
- 2. Share—Keep everyone updated on department and company developments. If asked to keep confidentiality, you can share the department goals and progress the department is making on a weekly and/or monthly basis in their achievements. Sharing is communicating. You must communicate with your people on a daily basis. I emailed frequently and communicated via telephone weekly. I have to say I believe they preferred the telephone over the email. Everyone loves the personal touch!
- 3. Engage—Let the group be involved in the decision-making process. When it comes to working with department decisions, engage the team and let them share their thoughts and ideas with you. I recommend conference calls if people are in distant locations so everyone is able to have an input. Again, that does not mean you have to agree but you are listening to their suggestions. If you choose to overrule that is your decision as a manager.
- 4. Interact—As often as you feel necessary, schedule a time away from the office for lunch, after-hours social, retreat, or training. It is important that the department feel you are as much a part of them as you are their supervisor. I had worked with people in the past who felt it was not good to intermingle with the people they managed. I believe it helps you to know the persons work ethic, personality, integrity, and also made me more accessible to them. I believe almost everyone I supervised would tell you I treated them as an equal. I do not believe in the superiority complex.
I believe every person has something to offer. It is up to the manager/supervisor to find and reveal the qualities. If after finding the qualities and they do not fit what is necessary for success in the position, the manager has to do what is necessary to correct the mistake. Every good manager is willing to admit they make mistakes. The best manager is the one who corrects the mistakes!
Alliance Advisors, Inc.