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Being a manager combines the tasks of your normal role with having to look after the work of others which, in itself, can feel like a full-time job! Great managers succeed in this seemingly impossible task. To do this, they carry out these things five things every day:
Every great manager exercises consistent honesty. If you are honest with your team about how you feel about their progress and let them know when they have done a good job, you will foster a culture in which people are honest with each other. As well as forming trust between you and your team, those who work for you will be more willing to come to you with their work-related problems, safe in the knowledge that you will respect their honesty rather than chastise them for running into trouble.
Being a great manager is not just about being honest with your team but also about being honest with yourself too. To this end, you need to display maturity in your leadership. If you are asked to lead your team through a project that you do not fully back, you must make sure that it is explained to you so that you are on board with it. If you have your doubts, your team will see this and will lose motivation for their work.
The team you manage will have the skills required to complete the projects you are given. You need to play to the strengths of your team. You need to delegate tasks so that you give them to people who have the best ability to complete them. This is not a once-and-for-all thing at the beginning of a project; it must be monitored every day as the project evolves. When the project changes, it may be more effective to re-delegate work so that it is done in the most efficient manner.
Do not place the blame on others. Things are bound to not turn out right 100% of the time. When you hear of something going wrong within your team, your first response should be ‘why?’ not ‘who?’ You need to identify the problem and work to solve it rather than thinking the solution is to blame whoever made the error. In all that you do, it cannot be forgotten that you, the manager, are ultimately responsible for your team and any errors that they make are, ultimately, your responsibility.
Every great manager needs to regularly check up on their team through one-to-one meetings. Doing this will allow you to establish good relationships with your colleagues. Meetings of this nature are too often rescheduled and, eventually, forgotten about. Ensuring that you make time for these meetings will allow you to better manage your team as you will get to know what motivates them and what they like and don’t like. As a manager, you are part of the team too and scheduling meeting like this can cement you in this position.
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