Notes on being a better manager

Notes on being a better manager

Quick hits on being a better manager beginning this Monday morning. Drink some coffee and shoot for 5 out of the 10 tips below and you will be well on your way to being a good manager.

1. Pencil in intentional one-on-one time with your direct report. Put it on the calendar and send out meeting invite like you would a typical meeting. Go out for lunch or coffee. Make a rule not to talk about work but check in on how they are doing as a human being.

2. Move your team meetings to a nearby park or Starbucks away from the office. New ideas flow in new surroundings

3. Memorize the names of your direct’s husband/wife/partner/child/dog and ask how they are doing. Yep, even the dog.

4. Find out what your direct report loves to do for a hobby. Buy them a small gift related to their hobby on their birthday or during the holidays. Oh, yeah ask HR for his or her birthday and put it on your calendar. At the very least give them a handwritten card.

5. Praise publicly, criticize privately. Don’t tell them what they did wrong in front of their peers. Coach them privately. Lavish with praise publicly.

6. Ask your direct report what you can do better as their boss. They may be scared to answer directly the first time but ask several times a year. Be sure to implement their suggestion.

7. Always, always give him or her coverage. Don’t let another manager or employee or even your own boss come for them. Stick up for them and coach them behind the scenes when they are struggling. Stay loyal. You will be amazed how much they will go to bat for you in return.

8. Be consistent. Don’t be a psycho boss one day and a sweetie pie the next. Stay even keel. No one wants a boss they have to wonder which face will show up on Monday morning.

9. Give them frequent feedback, don’t just wait until the official performance review period. Let them know how they are performing often. Be honest about their failures, they will appreciate your honesty if it is done with the intention of helping them succeed.

10. Don’t hold grudges. Your direct will let you down at some point or multiple times a week. Never hold a grudge or give them the silent treatment. Deal with the issue head on and let it go. Don’t hang it over their head. Forgiving mishaps is the best gift you can give your directs. 

“Go all in!”

With love, Janet

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