There are a lot of unpopular managers out there. In a recent Monster.com survey, more than 50% of respondents rated their boss as a “one” or a “two” on a five-point scale. And 32% of respondents indicated that their boss is “horrible.” Now this doesn’t mean that these managers are all bad people. Sure, there might be a few truly terrible bosses out there, but most of them are probably just a little lost and misguided.
A lot of people aspire to be managers. It’s viewed as a promotion. But it’s not an easy job. New managers need to adopt new ways of working and interacting with people. It can be a very tough transition.
But everyone has the ability and capacity to lead. You just need to learn how to do it properly! Listed below are five basic steps that you should take:
- Make sure you’re all on the same page – Talk to your employees about what you see as your common purpose. Why are you all doing the work that you do? Make sure that you all share the same vision. If everyone is in agreement, it will make it so much easier to prioritize tasks, solve problems, and work as a cohesive team.
- Realize that you don’t know everything – It isn’t your job to know everything. And if you act like you know everything, you’re going to annoy everyone. Trust your employees to do their jobs and recognize that they’re experts in their areas. Don’t micromanage.
- Focus on the right goals – Before you start setting goals for your team and tracking everyone’s progress, make sure you choose the right goals. Don’t choose goals just because progress will be easy to track and will look good on a pie chart. Make sure that the goals are actually meaningful and not just a lot of busywork.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake – You are going to make mistakes. That’s guaranteed. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Try to take it in stride and learn from your missteps. And accept the fact that your team members will make mistakes too. You’re not perfect and you can’t expect them to be either.
- Build trust – In order to be a good manager, you need to be someone your employees can trust. Your employees need to know that you support them, that you’ll defend them (when necessary), that you’ll tell them the truth, and that you’ll do what you say you’re going to do. Be consistent. Be compassionate. And help out whenever you can. Your team members will appreciate your efforts and work harder because of it.
Tynan, K. (2017). The truth about management. Talent Development, 71(6), 48-51.