10 Things to Do Today to Become a Better Manager
Listed below are ten things you can do to become a better manager. Pick one. Do it today. Pick another one for tomorrow. In two weeks you will be a better manager.
Select the Best People
As a manager, you are only as good as the people on your team. Give yourself a better chance to succeed by picking the best people from the start.
Be a Motivator
Human beings do things because we want to. Sometimes we want to because the consequences of not wanting to do something are unpleasant. However, most of the time we want to do things because of what we get out of it.
It's no different at work; people do good work for the pay, or the prestige, or the recognition. They do bad work because they want to take it easy and still get paid. They work hard because they want to impress someone. To motivate your people better, figure out what they want and how you can give that to them for doing what you want them to do.
Build Your Team
It is not enough that people are motivated to succeed at work. They have to work together as a team to accomplish the group's objective. After all, if we just want them to all "do their own thing" we don't need you as a manager to mold them into a team, do we? Here are some ways to improve your team building skills:
Be a Leader, Not Only a Manager
You have built the best team from the best employee available. You motivated them to peak performance. What is missing? Motivating a team is worthless unless you provide direction; unless you turn that motivation toward a goal and lead the team to it. It is the ability to lead others that truly sets a manager apart from their peers. Remember that leaders are found at all levels of the organization, so be one.
Here are a couple of examples, one good and one bad:
Improve as a Communicator
Communication may be the single most important skill of a manager. After all, all the others depend on it. You can't be a leader if you can't communicate your vision. You can't motivate people if they can't understand what you want. Communication skills can be improved through practice. Here are two exercises you can use to improve your ability to communicate effectively.
Get Better at Managing Money
A company has to make money to stay in business. That means bringing money in the door, and it means spending less than you bring in. Depending on your function in the organization, you may have more influence on one area or the other, but you need to understand both. You can help your company, your employees, and yourself be getting better at managing the company's money.
Don't be put off by the numbers, or by the fact that "it's math." Start learning more about money management by reading these articles:
Get Better at Managing Time
The one thing you will probably have less of at work than money is time. The better you get at managing time, yours and others, the more effective you will be as a manager. Here are two key skills:
Don't focus so hard on your people that you forget about yourself. Identify the areas in which you are weak and improve them. The fact that you are reading this article shows you understand the concept. You need to put it into practice.
Practice Ethical Management
Enron-like scandals have driven home the point about how important ethics is in business. If you want to avoid similar mistakes, here are some things to consider:
Take a Break
You are less effective as a manager if you are over-stressed. You are less tolerant. You snap at people more. No one wants to be anywhere near you. Take a break. Give yourself a chance to relax and recharge your batteries. Your increased productivity when you return will more than make up for the time you take off. Have a good laugh or go lie on a beach somewhere.
Management is a skill that can be learned. You can improve as a manager by working every day to get better. Bookmark this page and come back every day for the next two weeks. If you pick one subject each day and work on improving in that area, you will be a better manager before you know it. And others will notice it too.