Being approachable is very important when you operate your own business. You have to show that you have an incredible amount of strength as a leader and if you appear to be guarded or prickly when people do come up to you then this can really disrupt your collaboration flow. It doesn’t matter whether you lack responsiveness, whether you are dictatorial or even whether you are awkward, because if you are any of these things then your team will find it very hard to come and talk with you.
It’s not uncommon for managers to worry about being too warm and fuzzy or for them to believe that distance is good when dealing with staff. The problem is that if you are too distant or too warm and fuzzy then this can really hinder your leadership skills and it can also make it very hard for you to be the best manager that you can. So how do you become a better leader? Take a look below.
A lot of managers spend more time trying to get the job done rather than trying to be liked. Effective managers need to go into every meeting and every conversation with the intentions of both getting results and building healthy relationships. Results and relationships are as important as each other, and by having a good relationship with your team, you can be sure to help them and yourself at a later date. It’s also important to look at yourself as a manager as well. Think about it, do you have a tendency to be stubborn? Are you sarcastic? Do you have a hair-trigger temper? By being aware of yourself, you can then start to be aware of others. Nobody likes a leader who is self-indulgent and nobody likes to approach someone who is constantly angry either. For this reason, you have to try and understand the way that you are as a person before you go on to try and be a better professional.
Empower your Employees
When you are a manager, someone will probably come to you at some point with a problem. When they leave the office, the problem is no longer on them, it is on you instead and you have to find a way to try and deal with that. As a manager you need to try and encourage your team to come up with solutions by themselves. You also have to find a way to get them to work as a team as well. This can be hard when you are trying to force a group of people to work together when they don’t know each other. One way to get around this would be for you to create name badges for your employees, so that if they don’t really know who they are working with, they can at least learn each other’s names. For example, you won’t have the “IT guy” and the “cook” anymore. You’ll have a team who know each other by name, and when you are able to do this, you can then encourage them to have healthy relationships with one another.
You also need to try and empower your team so that they are able to come up with solutions for themselves rather than identifying problems for you to solve. Bad managers often end up doing their employee’s work for them. You need to teach your team to be efficient so that the problems can be avoided in the first place, but in order to do this, you need to identify them as being a team rather than just a group of individuals. Team building activities are great for this.
If you want to be a better manager then you have to make sure that you are able to communicate with your team. You shouldn’t be the one who is doing all of the talking either. A good manager will always listen, but a lot of people believe that listening is waiting to talk. Communication doesn’t always have to be about business and it doesn’t have to be all about work either. Consider grabbing a coffee with your team, or go around and spend time talking with your team so that you can find out their likes, their dislikes and more. It also helps to show a genuine interest in their lives so that you can build a level of trust. By doing this, you can also encourage open communication as well and this is vital if you want to have an efficient workforce.
It is ultimately your responsibility as a manager to make sure that the job is getting done and that it is getting done well. The problem here is that you can only control so much and at some point you do need to try and ensure your employees are pulling their weight. So how do you know you are doing everything you can to boost their performance? You need to make sure that you are providing them with incentives and you have to make sure that they are completely committed to the task at hand.
It’s important to know that different types of employees are driven by different things. Some of them may be driven by a vacation and others may just want recognition for their work. The only way you are able to find out this information is by talking to them, so go around and chat with your team about what they want and how they are doing. Find out what motivates them to try harder, and then try and meet these needs. You could even have an employee of the month system, for the person who goes above and beyond to make sure that your business needs are being met. This is a great way for you to get a bit of friendly competition going, but you do have to make sure that your team are well integrated into the job and that they are comfortable with one another before you do this and the main reason is because if you don’t then this could lead to some unnecessary tension.