Have you been recently promoted to a position where you manage other employees? Maybe you’ve been a manager for a number of years? Whether you are newbie or a veteran, here are seven strategies to help you become the best leader you can be.
1. Talk Less, Listen More
During review time, stop talking at employees and just prompt them with something open-ended. Once the employee starts talking, just sit back and listen. You will glean far more information using this tactic. Be patient and give employees some time to process their thoughts before they start talking.
2. Play to Your (and your teams) Strengths
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you determine how to approach feedback and coaching with your team. Knowing your point of reference and allowing for differences in your team’s abilities means you can tailor feedback; which makes the information more relevant and useful for your team.
3. Manage Teams, Not Individuals
As a manager, you are responsible for individual performance reviews and the output of your entire team. When you recognize individual strengths and skill gaps, you can pair members of your team with complimentary skills and provide learning opportunities. These opportunities also provide teamwork and project success.
4. Emphasize the Positive
We all have professional strengths, but weaknesses represent the areas where we have the greatest growth potential. Yes, it is important to focus on the employee’s strengths, but make sure you do this while finding ways for them to develop skills that need improvement. Encourage your employees to find ways to develop that skill. The goal is to always try to add one more new strength to the list of positives.
5. Be Inspirational
Inspire your employees and recognize their achievements. Recognizing their success in front of others is a great way to motivate the employee. This reinforces current performance and drives strong performance in the future.
6. Give Feedback
Be honest and sincere if you want your feedback to carry any weight. Feedback in real-time is a very productive tool. Be direct, and don’t criticize the person it’s about the action.
7. Performance Reviews Are About People
Reviews are all about the people and their contributions to the team and the organization overall. Help them understand how their efforts contributed to the overall success of the team.