No matter how good you think are at something, there is usually always room for improvement. In some cases, becoming better at something can have a significant positive impact on your business. For example, improving your management skills can help to reduce high rates of turnover at your company.
If you’re looking to become a better manager, here’s what you can do to improve your management skills.
Listen to Your Team
One thing that sets good or great managers apart from not-great or even bad managers is the ability to listen. It’s not only important that you listen to what your team has to say — you also need to actually hear what they are saying. In some cases, it’s all too easy for a manager to assume that a particular employee is going to say something or have a particular issue, even if that is far from the truth.
In other instances, a manager might choose to only hear what they want to hear, ignoring anything that could be construed as negative. While that can help you to focus on the positive aspects of your company and team, it can also lead you to ignore or overlook issues that need fixing.
To improve your listening skills, it can help to practice active listening. That can involve repeating back what an employee is saying to you or paraphrasing their concern and asking them to validate or confirm that you’ve got it right. When you actually listen to your team, they will feel appreciated and that they are able to discuss any concerns that they have with you.
Get to Know Your Team Members as Individuals
The people who work with you or under you aren’t all the same. They each have different work styles and different needs. One way to improve your skills as a manager is to begin to recognize the differences in your employees. What motivates one team member might not motivate another, for example.
One way to get to know the people you work with or manage is to occasionally hold one-on-one meetings with them. You don’t want to go overboard with the individual conferences, but it’s important to check in with your team every now and again (such as every quarter or once a year at a minimum).
Scheduling individual conferences doesn’t just give you a chance to get to know your team members. It also gives them a chance to bring up and share any concerns they have with you, either about a current project, their status with the company or any other issues they might be experiencing.
Part of being a great manager is being able to anticipate and meet the needs of your team members and knowing who excels at what. Taking the time to really get to know people will help you best play to everyone’s strengths.
Communicate and Be Clear With Your Team
Great managers are great communicators. If communication within a team starts to slide, people begin to feel as if something’s been lost or as if they’re out there treading water, unsure of what to do next. Being clear with your team about who is responsible for what and when is another essential component of good communication.
Part of being a good communicator is regularly checking in to make sure that things are going along as they should. Another part of being a good communicator is having an open door policy with your team members. People who work for you should feel free to come with you at any time with any concerns they have about a project or even about another member of the team. You can help employees feel more comfortable communicating with you by regularly asking them how things are going.
Keep Your Distance
As a manager, it’s not your job to babysit employees or keep tabs on their every move. In fact, doing that tends to alienate and annoy people. Try to learn to keep a healthy distance from your team. Assign and delegate tasks to them and resist the urge to “check in” every minute of the day.
If you want your company to grow and succeed, knowing how to be the best manager possible is essential. The team at New Direction Capital is available to help you put together a plan for growth. To learn more about our virtual CFO services and how we can help your business, contact us today.