Being a manager of people is not a job for the light-hearted. It can be difficult and stressful. It is important as manager to never think you know it all, because managing is a life-long learning journey.
Awhile back I came upon an older article in the Harvard Business Review on “What Great Managers Do”. Below is an excerpt from the article and then the link to the full article, which is worth reading.
I have to say that even though I know many of my staff’s gifts and talents I don’t often have the opportunity to allow them to use them to their fullest. But one thing I absolutely do that is critical to their growth and value to the practice is to “put them first.”
There are six critical things that managers need to do to make sure that their people know they are important and valued to the business.
- Believe in your people’s ability to succeed.
- Listen to each person responsively.
- Be a walk-about manager showing them you care about them personally.
- Do not wait to act when they bring a problem to you.
- Monitor their work tasks, flow, and efficiencies for difficulties.
- Do not let your staff struggle, find out what you can do to help them.
After reading this article I have tried to find ways I can let my staff use their talents more often as I know this would make them not only happier, but also make our practice better.
A survey of 80,000 managers conducted by the Gallup Organization found that while there are as many styles of management as there are managers, there is one quality that sets truly great managers apart from the rest: These managers discover what is unique about each person under their management and then capitalize on it. Average managers play checkers, while great managers play chess. The difference? In checkers, all the pieces are uniform and move in the same way; they are interchangeable. You need to plan and coordinate their movements, certainly, but they all move at the same pace, on parallel paths. In chess, each type of piece moves in a different way, and you can’t play if you don’t know how each piece moves. More important, you won’t win if you don’t think carefully about how you move the pieces. Great managers know and value the unique abilities and even the eccentricities of their employees, and they learn how best to integrate them into a coordinated plan of attack.
If you want to be a great manager and have an amazing team, then you need to continually work with them because you are one of them.