If you could offer one piece of advice for becoming a better manager, what would it be?
There are varying opinions & perspectives on what it takes to become a good manager. What is one piece of advice you'd give to become a more effective manager?
Honest self-evaluation. The more autonomous the manager is, the more critical it becomes. It is much easier to see issues in others than to identify issues in ourselves.
I used to offer my employees the same chance to evaluate me that I had to evaluate them. Anonymous questionnaires with comment ability. Be ready to critically evaluate the them to improve yourself. Even for evals that don't offer good suggestions for self-improvement, it will definitely give you an opportunity to see how that person views themselves and you in the structure of the company. Either way, invaluable information.
Take a look at this for what NOT to do: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131209210429-86541065-four-bosses-you-don-t-want-or-want-to-be?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0
Have you read the "One Minute Manager"? I think the best way to manage is to get your personnel to "buy into" the company and acknowledge what they are achieving. An incentive program is a great way to accomplish this but as simple and often overlooked practice is to take a minute and thank them at the end of the work day or the end of a project so that they feel appreciated and have a sense of accomplishment. There is a big difference between a job and a career. You want them to be consistently working towards their career: not just coming to work.
"Actively" listen to what your people are saying. The single most important skill. Most managers think it is important to be "Telling" people what to do all day. While clear communication is also very important, really listening to them is the top priority. Discover what is on their minds, what motivates and de-motivates them and what can you do to clear the path for them to be successful. If you genuinely ask, they will tell.
If I had to use only one word it would be "listen." Those involved in the daily tasks know best about the problems, possible solutions and best courses to follow. Their contributions will be forthcoming only if there is the belief that they will be heard seriously, and valued for their opinions. Good management practice also demands open communications, fairness, a recognition system (not necessarily money) that helps to build self esteem and a vision that can be shared by all. .
Foster a culture of innovation in your company where every idea from every collaborator counts, whether they're from the C-suite or the mailroom, and implement a system to reward innovators. You'll be first to market with the next big idea or the next little app, leaving the competition in the dust. And your employees will be motivated to do even better the next time around.
Good leadership is about empowering others. Not dictating, not micromanaging, not brow-beating, and not certainly doing it all. The best trait for a manager/leader is communication skills - this is how to achieve organization, cooperation, motivation, participation: growth and a positive moral begins and ends with highly effective communication.
I could offer many pieces of advice...but certainly great listening rises to the top of the list. Listening to your colleagues or those you lead (prefer that word to "manage"), your consumers/customers/clients and your would be consumers/customers/clients.
Books are great, training, even role playing. But if you ask me a good leader leads by example. Do more, work harder, set the bar high, and your team will follow. Respect is earned not given.
Before offering unsolicited advice, stop and offer it to yourself first. This helps turn a"thoughtless" comment into a conscious choice. Too many managers try to manage employee thought rather than raise awareness.
A good manager leads by example. Also, being open minded and listing to what your team has to say, and accepting recommendations. Being able to show consideration and compassion, while still keeping the respect for your position as the manager.