How to Be a Better Manager

LinkedIn never fails to bring the most interesting articles my way.  Today’s article is how to resolve to be a better manager in 2014 and covers 6 Fundamentals.  Below are the 6 fundamentals and my comments:

1. Be open to new ways of looking at things – “The best managers are flexible, adaptable, and closely attuned to their environment.” –> The husband and I have been watching the Netflix Original series LilyHammer where in one of the episodes in season two, one of the characters goes to a management course and learns about the way monkeys peel bananas, which is from the top and not from the stem.  The point is that sometimes we should think about peeling the banana from a different side, a.k.a. think about solving a problem a different way.

2. Expect excellence – “Set high but not unattainable standards and expect your employees to meet them.”–>I’ve written about this before.  I feel like I set my own standards high and hence expect the same thing from my employees.

3. Make sure your employees know – clearly – where they need to focus –  “About those high standards just noted in point number 2… be sure your employees’ job objectives clearly reflect them.”–>I have been working on my communication skills trying to ensure that things are brief and to the point with the end goal and deadline clearly defined…esentially making sure to cover the following in conversation and email: what, when, who, how, why, what if, what next

4. Protect your time as if it were gold (or perhaps Bitcoins?) – “Time is an underrated but crucial management asset, essential to thoughtful decision making.   Managers are routinely pulled in too many directions.”–> This is sometimes hard to do as I try to make sure that my employees are happy and well listened to.  However, I am realizing that sometimes, I need to make sure that I am happy, and able to get things done, which means delegation!

5. Communicate regularly by providing meaningful feedback in real time – “Sure, effective communication may sound a little trite, but that’s because its so fundamental to sound management.”–>I am also making sure to work on this as well.  The trouble sometimes is that my employee and I work in different states and get carried away doing things we need to get done, but I am beginning to realize that a lot of times it is indeed much easier, and quicker, to just pick up that phone!

6. Don’t duck conflict, but deal with it directly and fairly – “As any manager knows, the workplace environment is a fertile breeding ground for conflict.  Interpersonal issues, compensation, recognition, cost-cutting, layoffs, management-employee relations… there’s never a shortage of emotionally charged issues that can lead to conflict.” –>This again is something I’m trying to work on.  I am now aware of the fact that if “you see something, say something.”  What I mean is, don’t wait for problematic behavior to develop a pattern, bring it up the first time it happens.  Otherwise, you need to find a good time to talk about it, and there just never seems to be a good time, but if you nip the problem in the bud right away, it’s one less thing to think about down the road.

What did you do today?  Did you reevaluate your strategy as a manager?

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