Yesterday was Mother’s Day I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with each of my now adult children. It is amazing to see and listen to them now and to think back to what it was like raising them many years ago.
As a parent I learned a valuable lesson, which I was able to use years later when I moved into a management position. That lesson was that what worked with one child, whether it was discipline, motivation, or a teaching opportunity, did not mean it would work with the next child.
All three of my children were, and still are, very different and I had to find out what would work with each one. The same holds true with managing staff personnel. Because they’re adults they’re easier to read, but the work of figuring them out begins with you, the manager.
In a management position, you must begin with self-evaluation. This isn’t an easy thing to do because at times we’re “so deep in the forest we cannot see the trees.” Start by watching and listening to the staff members who answer to you, how do they react to you when you interact with them? Are they comfortable? Do they smile at you? Do they feel free to ask you questions or tell you when they make a mistake?
Ask yourself, what type of relationship do I have with my staff members, what do you know about them and do you really care? Evaluate yourself throughout the day. Ask yourself, “Would I like to be managed by me?”
Communication is the key to keeping your relationships growing in a positive direction. Managing a team of people is an ongoing learning experience. I do not believe you can ever know how to do it perfectly, as people continually change and grow, so must we.