(photo courtesy deborah lattimore on flickr)
I believe that listening is the management analog of soil preparation, the foundation for all future success. this flies in the face of common wisdom: most of us assume that once we become managers, we’re supposed to stop listening. We think manager = answer-person. I suggest that the single most useful thing you can learn to do as a manager is stop talking and start listening.
It’s always better for a company to have more people who are capable of solving problems
Second, it lets your employees know that you think they have good brains; that they’re capable of solving problems; that you expect and require that they will contribute to the success of the department or the business. Doing this (and then incorporating their ideas into the final solution) communicates trust and respect more powerfully than a hundred wall posters about trust and respect!
I feel very strongly that if you’re a manager, and you have an employee about whom you cannot say “I believe in your potential and I want to help you succeed,” then that person shouldn’t be working for you. really, think about it: if you have people working for you, and you don’t believe they’re capable, and don’t feel motivated to help them…how likely is it they’re going to succeed?
Research has shown that one of the things employees most need, in order to feel positive and be productive, is to know what’s expected of them.
If you want people to feel good about their jobs and get great results, it’s completely worth the investment of time to get clear with them about “what success looks like”
One important tip for delegating well is: give autonomy according to experience.
This one’s the bonus, from webworkersdaily comments:
What people want from work today, I think, is personal growth. So if managers are going to add value, I think it can’t just be about productivity. A manager is there to give the worker what the worker needs to succeed. And what workers need in order to stay at a job is personal growth, so a manager should foster that.
A manager can be a coach, a mentor, a sounding board. All the things we would love to get from a friend but don’t usually have friends who are up to the task. In this regard, a manager would need to be very hands on in a way that helps us to be better people — not just better workers.
I know: Big challenge. But at least it’s something to aim for.
[tags]management, working, managers, quotes[/tags]