Being a good manager is not an easy task. You have a lot thing to wrap your mind around, you have a lot of different aspects to think from… and you still need to make sure everyone is feeling good and happy, the work is being done and the company is growing.
There is no secret recipe that will help you become a perfect manager over night, but there are some tips that can help you a lot, especially if you’re in the beginning of your career as a leader. It all comes down to trial and error, being adaptive, communicating and always finding a good balance. Here are 5 secrets to great management!
Be both supportive and supported
It’s equally important that you are both supportive and supported. And somehow, during a busy work day or a hectic and stressful period we tend to forget this, especially the second one.
Being supportive means that you need to be there for your team, and in a crisis you’re focusing on solutions for the problems, rather than finding who to blame. It means having a mindset where you keep challenging and supporting your colleagues so that they grow both professionally and personally.
Being supported means that you also need some help (and it is totally ok). Being supported means passing on some of your activities like doing research, scheduling or attending certain meetings, training other staff members, hiring… and also having a network you can rely on. You cannot be a lone wolf and a good leader at the same time.
Don’t be negative, but be realistic
It is crucial not to have a negative, blaming mindset and perspectives when it comes to work. You should be focused on solutions, rather than blaming someone. Having said that, you also need to be very realistic, set clear goals and KPIs. Even when it comes to firing people, when it’s necessary, you can keep your focus on still be positive while doing the right thing by letting them go.
Good leadership is a good communication
Good communication is one of the most important things for a healthy organisation. You have to make sure that all the information is communicated well, you have to make sure that all that is communicated is understood and you have to also think about communication channels – how can they be improved?
Track, document, evaluate and always be innovative
A lot of managers, and a lot of good managers, often go with the guts. This is sometimes necessary and can be a good quality, but it is also not (always) an ideal solution.
Sometimes, your gut feeling can be completely off and it can lead to taking bad decisions. That’s why it is crucial to track and document everything. After it’s documented, you should evaluate, even when, for instance, a project is well done, you should evaluate. Could it be even better? And where is the space for improvement? Try to think out of the box and be as innovative as possible, questioning everything and always trying to find better solutions.
As a manager, you will need to have to adapt to different challenges in a timely manner. That’s why you need to have an open mind and be as flexible as possible. You will need to adapt the way you communicate with each of your staff members and colleagues. You will need to adapt the way you and your team do the things to the different challenges and daily changes that can occur. A good management is a lot like a dance, you constantly need to find a good rhythm.