While you pride yourself on being a great manager, you know there's always room for improvement. Strengthening your management skill could help take you to the next level of your career, earn you a raise or secure a promotion. Here are four tips for bringing out the most in your managerial prowess.
1. Become a Better Decision-Maker
Rather than feel you must make decisions by yourself, enlist your team's help. That way, you all benefit from different perspectives and the creative energy sparked from healthy debate. All other parties involved in the decision must feel heard to agree on a decision wholeheartedly. If not, you may have to return to the negotiating table, which costs time. After making a decision on a specific project, work with stakeholders to determine what completing the project looks like. That way, everyone has an agreed-upon standard for success. Before leaving the table, double-check that you've tied up all loose ends to everyone's satisfaction, which helps garner goodwill.
2. Cultivate Trust
You'll not only build better management skills by building trust within your team, but you'll also likely endear employee loyalty, much like you may endear customer loyalty with a well-written sales email. When workers feel a sense of trust in their company, they're more likely to remain engaged in their job duties, experience less stress and anxiety, be more productive and increase their overall productivity.
To spark trust, take a genuine interest in your team's personal lives. You don't have to reach too deeply, as asking about the music they listen to, books they enjoy and shows they watch may help lead to in-depth conversations that aren't too intrusive or too personal. Further, work to create an inclusive work environment that's respectful of different viewpoints, cultures, religions and lifestyles. When employees feel they can be themselves at work without fear of persecution or ridicule, they're more likely to respect you as a leader and the company.
3. Become More Self-Aware
Do you have a good grasp of your professional strengths and weaknesses? Becoming more aware of what you do well, where you can improve and where you fall short helps you bring your best to the table. Take time to give yourself a professional evaluation, one where you're brutally honest with yourself. It's a good idea to ask for honest input from trusted colleges and your team. That way, you know how others view your managerial style. You may have blind spots or areas of improvement you aren't aware of.
When you have an idea of your weaknesses, cultivate a personal development plan that helps you improve in those areas. This may involve reading books, watching online videos, enrolling in a class or seeking a mentor or teacher. Depending on your company, your employer may have professional development resources you can tap to be a better manager. You may ask to attend a conference, networking event or something similar. If you feel taking a few classes may help you become a better manager with more focused awareness, see if your company would either pay your tuition or reimburse you.
4. Check-In With Your Team
Yearly performance reviews aren't the only time when you should check-in with your employees. Establish regular check-ins throughout the year, such as once every two or three months. Use this opportunity to let employees know what they're doing well and where they may stumble. Keep evaluations and feedback as informal as possible, as you want to help your team reach their individual goals and the company's goals. Do not bring up anything that may reflect poorly on an employee's personality. For areas of improvement, offer tips and resources to give your team a starting point.
Regular check-ins help you become a better manager by giving you a chance to improve your communication skills. Leading and uniting others toward a common goal often involves tact. The more chances you give yourself to flex this professional muscle, the stronger it becomes.
By becoming a stronger manager, you become a better professional. Look for everyday opportunities to evolve your business acumen.