The thinking around management and leadership techniques has changed over the generations. If you are over 50 you will definitely remember the autocratic style of managers whose philosophy was, 'Do it my way or the highway!'
Although we still come across some managers that are like this, luckily they are few and far between. So, what is the modern way of managing? We look at a few key techniques that make you a modern manager. How do you stack up?
Related: Improve your management with management courses
Flexibility of Leadership Style
Modern managers are prepared to adapt their leadership style to the person they have in front of them. Traditional managers believe that their way of managing and leading is the most effective and they have been doing that way for ... years, why should I change now?
Ken Blanchard popularised the idea of Situational Leadership in his book 'Leadership and the One Minute Manager. Not only did he advocate changing leadership style for the person he also suggested that we adapt it for the situation they were in too.
Openness & Honesty
Being open with your employees means sharing with them the challenges you are facing and the expectations of your bosses. Increasing the commercial awareness of team members helps them to understand decisions that you have to make.
Honesty in feedback can be refreshing if it is balanced with positive encouragement for the things they are doing well. The realities of the economic climate mean that difficult decisions need to be made and this can result in redundancies. Changing the way we work so that we can cope better with these challenges may mean that we can mitigate the effects of tough trading conditions.
Showing Interest in Their Employees' Promotion
Some managers don't understand this concept. This is because they don't want to lose their best people. Actually in our experience the best people are often attracted by managers who are genuinely interested in their development. They tend to work harder for these types of manager as it is in their best interests to impress.
Asking For 360o Feedback
Although more popular these days it still takes a forward thinking manager to ask for feedback on their management skills from the team.When doing so it is worth structuring it so that you don't end up with a moaning session.
Ask for positive feedback first such as, 'What is the best way that I currently help you in your job?' When asking for development areas, ask them to limit it to just one area where you can best improve your management style.
Apologizing For Mistakes
This is a huge one. Most managers struggle to say the 'S' word (sorry). Even though we are managers we still make mistakes and it takes a strong manager to admit it when you do make them. Far from being seen as 'weak' it tends to generate respect among the team.
It also encourages other people to do the same when they make mistakes. This is especially true when you avoid having a blame culture. It is far more supportive to talk generally about mistakes and how the team can prevent them happening in the future.
Bio: Founder and MD of international management development firm MTD Training, Sean McPheat is widely regarded as a leading authority on modern day management and leadership. Sean is a bestselling author, and has been recognized for his own business building skills through the British Business Awards and has been featured in the Who's Who Of Britain's Business Elite. Click here to follow Sean online.