Last week the topic of management came up with two clients, in different ways. First with a client who got tough feedback from her team. Turns out that even though she is engaging and they really like her, she wasn’t doing the job of managing them. It is affecting their confidence about their own long term prospects, and that is de-motivating. Then management came up with another client who shared that she had learned so much from a boss who was diligent about management in a non-profit environment, that often doesn’t appreciate the value of managing people.
So what is management? It’s more than being liked as a leader, and it is more than having a compelling vision. Managing your team well requires systematic, regular, consistent check-ins, encouragement and progress reports. We feel motivated when we have the feeling of progress and moving forward. So here are a few of my favorite practices:
- Schedule quarterly (even monthly) meetings for your direct reports, and even one level below them.
- Know what each of your reports, or skip levels, is looking for from a leader. Explore how you can flex to offer that, even if it’s not your natural inclination.
- Know what each report wants from career and personal life, what motivates them and how they want to be recognized.
- Share what you know about moving forward in career at your organization. And if you don’t know that, find out.
Too many professionals see their role as teaching their team how to do what they do. What they forget is that when you are promoted to manager, your role changes. Knowing what that new role is will make you succeed.
Have a great week!