When employees come to speak with you, do you put everything down, turn off your phone, and feel truly eager to hear their thoughts? Few managers actually do this on a daily basis, and as a result, they are like air traffic controllers without radar. Listening is an active quest to understand the knowledge, concerns, insights and ideas your employees bring to the table, and you need this information to do your job well.
Master the art of asking and you will enrich your understanding of employees, the challenges they face, and their ideas for meeting those challenges. Workers will sense that you care about what they have to say, and that will lead to higher employee engagement and stronger business results.
Organizations often put Bulls in managerial positions, expecting them to deliver great things. For a time, results may look good. But if you dig deeper, you will find eroding employee engagement, which leads to expensive turnover and sub-optimal business performance.
We humans tend to evaluate others through the lens of our own best traits. We often value people who have our same strengths and undervalue people who don’t. Are you doing this unwittingly? And if you are, what effect does it have on your team’s morale and performance?
Often, managers who are good at Relating (asking, listening, coaching, including, and encouraging) shy away from Requiring activities (insisting on excellence, confronting poor or marginal performers, or just telling an employee what is expected or needed). Your job as a manager is to help employees achieve business goals and do outstanding work. To direct their efforts and help them deliver their best work, you need to be equally adept at Relating and Requiring skills. Are you?
As a manager, you are responsible for a wide range of activities. Recruiting. Establishing a positive work environment in your group. Setting expectations. Managing performance. Making decisions. Coaching. Dealing with poor or marginal performers. Each of these responsibilities requires a unique blend of Relating and Requiring skills. Are you using the right combination, in each situation, to get great business results and foster strong relationships?
Looking for a fast way to improve how you manage people? Evaluate yourself on two sets of skills: the ability to Require of your employees (this includes setting expectations, focusing on goals, insisting on excellence, establishing appropriate controls, confronting performance issues, asserting your views) and the ability to Relate to your employees (which involves asking, listening, including, coaching and encouraging). It’s likely that one of these skill sets feels more natural to you. Are you, by chance, avoiding the skills that feel less natural?
One of your employees has a career-limiting habit. As a manager, your job is to hold up a mirror to create awareness of the behavior and its consequences—and to help your employee through the change process. Here’s a conversation framework to improve your chances of securing the desired new behavior.
Effective managers create expectations, insist on excellent and confront poor performance. Over 40 percent of managers, however, under-perform on these “Requiring” activities. Why? Many of these managers fear they will come across as mean or combative, an image they want to avoid. To avert a career train wreck, these individuals need to rethink the definitions of “mean” and “nice.”
Your personal beliefs can enhance or limit your effectiveness as a manager. These beliefs influence the way you communicate with others, make decisions, handle conflicts and much more. Here are 16 beliefs that can help you manage people optimally. What others would you add to this list?