As a leader, you will have a natural management style, and it might be why you chose the role you are in, were elevated to the position, or are able to motivate your team to do their best work.
However, having more than one approach to managing your team can promote productivity, creativity and commitment. Different styles are applicable in different scenarios, so while your default setting might be great for managing everyday situations, knowing how to shift gears can help you through a crisis, restructuring, increase in production or other scenarios you will face as a team manager and leader.
1. Play fair
One of the best ways to connect with your team is to ensure that you do not show favoritism. While you might not be part of the activity of your team, you are setting the example. If people feel that they are not respected equally it can create division and distraction.
If you are a fair leader you ensure that everyone works as a team rather than letting any kind of negativity come between them. Divide and rule is a policy which has proved terribly ineffectual in the past.
So as a manager, you are expected to use your discretion and fairness to ensure that everything is done for the betterment of the company. This is particularly important during a restructuring or introduction of new team members. Fair play is a culture that is created and permeates your entire company. In today’s climate, there is no room for favorites.
2. Give credit where it is due
As a manager, it is of paramount importance that you encourage your team and let them know what level of quality their work falls into. It is important that you see who contributes what to the team and let individuals know their worth. While your team may be working together on an overall project, each person brings different skills and qualities to the task. People need to know how their contribution is valued.
Giving positive reinforcement encourages workers to try harder as they are happy that their efforts are not going unnoticed. Even a word of kindness or pat on the back can go a long way. Your weakest team member is still making a contribution, and if they aren’t, it is time to let them move on to a job that better suits their skills.
3. Stress less
As a manager, you have many things to think about, which at times can seem overwhelming. Creating a balance and understanding how to delegate is the best way to ensure that you are a manager in control.
Your team relies on your support and direction. You do not need to micromanage people or take on every problem within the team or company. This is especially important to recognise after a crisis period. Allow people to do the job they were hired to do and relinquish control after a major shift so your team can find its new balance.
4. Take risks
If you are a manager, it is likely you are a risk-taker, or at the least an assertive personality. Taking calculated risks and making decisions is the basis of the role of a manager at any level, be it a hotel reception team leader or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
There are many people who are elevated to the role of a leader who should not be, however, you are the type of manager who makes decisions and takes risks that further the business. Those risks are not taken covertly, they are taken with consideration, discussion and intuition.
5. Failure makes you stronger
If you make a mistake, or your team does, it’s an opportunity for growth. While people cannot be given endless opportunities, if you or a worker makes a mistake it is an opportunity to learn. There might be a weakness in your method or SOPs, a need for training or even a need for improved communication.
You and your team members need to take responsibility for mistakes. To make that possible, you need to be open to workers talking with you and discussing ways to improve their work or systems. Mistakes help teams to grow and adapt to each other, and in the development stages of a new business or change of team, being a manager who takes mistakes as opportunities is a supportive manager who builds a strong team.
6. Guide your team
A manager is someone who is able to inspire their team. Lead your team by example, and when they need you to step up in a more aggressive role to lead a major project to completion, they will willingly follow.
Ask your team on a regular basis how they are coping with their workload if they want further training in other areas, or what their career goals are and how you can help them to reach those goals. You can be a friend and a leader if it is a natural evolution for you, but most importantly you need to be their guide because this is how you will motivate them and retain staff.
As a manager, you are in a trusted position of influence. You do have control over people’s careers, lives, and even self-worth. It is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. As a human, you will make mistakes and poor judgements, but as a manager, it is your responsibility to learn different approaches to different situations and know when to apply yourself. Do not underestimate how important your position is in the lives of others, and do not abuse this power, lest you ruin your own career through a lack of flexibility and ignorance.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
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