Jon Thedham, Trainer, AoC
In today’s fast changing world, the role of manager is complex and challenging. Think of the number of changes you have had to put in place in the last six months. Added to this is your increasing workload and the limiting of the resource you have at your disposal to meet your targets and to get your job done.
Here are five actions you can take in the next week to help you develop and grow as a manager. Some of these you may already be doing. But you should take time to reflect on your actions, to ensure that you have a consistent approach in your day-to-day management practice.
Be aware of your weaknesses and play to your strengths
Identify from your recent management activity what you think are three of your best strengths as a manager and what would be your biggest weakness. Ask three colleagues (who you trust) to ask whether they agree with your self-assessment or whether they would add anything else.
In the next week make sure you demonstrate behaviours that show the strengths you identify. Undertake one action no matter how small to help you develop your weakness.
Ensure you are both fair and consistent in all your dealings with colleagues and customers
List out all the people in your team (or who your work with). Prioritise them against the following questions. Who do I get on with the best? Who do I think does the best job? Who do I think contributes most to the team?
Review and reflect upon your lists. Do you treat everyone equally and consistently? What could you do to ensure that you treat everyone both fairly and consistently? It is about ensuring that everyone can see that you are both fair and consistent.
Give feedback to your colleagues who really add value
In five minutes ask yourself the following questions regarding your team and colleagues.
- Who has come up with an idea for improving the way they or the team work?
- Who has done something to really support their colleagues?
- Who has done something positive without being asked?
- Who is really good but you haven’t given feedback to in the last month?
Note down the names of the person or people, and this week make sure you give them feedback on their positive performance.
Don’t ignore poor performance
Many organisations suffer from the inability of its managers to deal with poor and/or declining performance. There are many reasons why poor performance occurs. It is important to identify the root cause for that decline in performance before addressing the issue. There is no excuse for not dealing with it in a timely and effective way.
If a team member is not performing or their performance has slipped in the last month arrange to have a conversation with them. Use this to identify the root causes of the situation and to identify some actions going forward. Try to take the emotion out of the conversation by sticking to facts.
Take regular breaks
Taking a break is an essential part of everyone’s working day. It helps keep us focused and can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Taking breaks keeps us happier and healthier and helps us to be more productive.
Try in the next week to make sure that you and your team have a lunch break, and make sure they have at least two short breaks every day. Reflect on the impact of your performance at the end of the week. Note: try not to feel too guilty!
AoC offers an introduction to management in-house training programme that will help new managers further develop and enhance their management and leadership skills.
If you are interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org