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The Secret of Being a Great Manager
So, you've finally reached that cushy managerial job with your own office, plenty of holidays and pretty swollen pay package. However, you don't want to be like your predecessor, he was a bad boss and you don't want to put your subjects, *ahem* I mean team through the tyrannical rule that your Gordon Brown-esque boss had you under.
Now you want to be an effective manager, you want your team to trust you, to believe in you and to have your back when your demonic executive overlords bring their fists of fury down upon you. You want to, make sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently, but at the same time you want your employees to look up to you like a cool English teacher. Whilst finding the balance between professional and approachable may seem like Mission Impossible, with these little secrets, you will be able to command both fear and joy from your minions.
A good manager knows what is happening all around them and this omnipresence comes from constant communication with each member of their team.
Before you can begin to successfully communicate with your new team, you must first let them know they can trust you. Good leaders don't sugarcoat the bad news, they line up the troops and tell them the bad news straight, even if it doesn't sync well with the Monday blues. If you're honest with your team, they'll be honest with you both professionally and personally.
Once you've earned their trust, you'll notice an open office where a manager can easily track projects and thrive. By simply representing and supporting your employees, you'll find that they will support you.
Despite communication being necessary within the office, it does not mean you always need to be a people pleaser. If an employee has been slacking on their work, tell them; a manager has a lot of responsibilities but ultimately you don't want to jeapordise your position because an employee can't be bothered to meet the deadlines.
In order to ascend into a Management guru, one must find the perfect balance between praise and discipline. It's no secret that the secret to success is a motivated team and to keep them motivated you have to appreciate the good work they do. Feedback is also an important part of being a manager, there is always room for improvement and by highlighting how you're not only helping future projects, but you're also helping the employee build on their skills.
Whilst staying positive with your team will build friendships, much like a cute puppy, there are times you may need to be stern. They say nice guys finish last and you don't want your employees running wild whilst you lag behind. Organising frequent one to one meetings to discuss progress and any issues that may have arisen are a great way to keep everyone in check.
The office is an ever changing place. Stick any amount of people in the same room for 35 hours a week and conflict is inevitable. As a manager it's your job to deal with any conflict, whether it's a stolen chair or someone is acting out due to problems at home - a good manager doesn't shy away.
Whether the anger is directed at you or another employee, shying away from the problem and avoiding the conflict will only make things worse in the office and the best managers manage conflict efficiently. This means sitting down with the employee(s) and discussing on a one to one basis the problem and how it can resolved so everyone can move on.
Your team will respect a manager who confronts difficult situations on a daily basis and by quickly and fairly resolving conflict you show that you will not shy away from your employees best interests.
Sometimes being a manager is a lot like being an office commander, you have to assess each team member's individual strengths and weaknesses and where they fit in with the current project. There's no point placing Jim the social media intern in a coding project role when Susan has been coding for 20 years.
A successful projects start not with where, but instead with who. Delegating your team into the roles they will work strongest in, is the start point to any successful project. Employees are happiest when they are given a task they can manage and excel in. The best way to discover their strengths and weaknesses is, of course, communication.
So What is the Secret?
The real secret to being a successful manager is of course, communication. It is a pivotal strategy in asserting yourself as either a good manager, or one who cowers away in the office whilst your staff reign anarchy upon one another. Motivation, Conflict Management and Delegation all stem from a strong personal bond between you and employees. So fan the flames of friendship and your higher ups are sure to take notice.