It surprises me in this day and age that there are still managers out there blaming their staff for poor performance!! Yes, you heard me correctly!
I know that those of you who know me might be scratching your head - after all, aren't I the girl who is constantly banging on about accepting personal responsibility and you are the master of your own destiny? Well, yes, BUT when it comes to the office environment, the manager is the person who is responsible for the result.
NO manager can blame their staff for lack of results. Even in a self sufficient environment, the manager is the person who must drive results.
What makes a "bad" manager?
There are many elements that make a bad manager, and herein lies the important part: ELEMENTS MAKE A BAD MANAGER! Bad managers are not born that way - they have learnt how to "manage" and treat staff, that means that anyone can be a good manager if they want! So if you are thinking you could improve your management skills, or YOUR team is constantly failing, here are a few elements to be wary of:
- yelling and belittling staff,
- not communicating EXACTLY what is required (my favourite phrase from a past manager was "oh you know what I mean" when in fact, I didn't - turns out, she didn't either!),
- not communicating (at all!),
- jumping up and down AFTER a project has failed or a job has come up short,
- blaming others or blaming circumstances
- micro managing and/or expecting people to do everything exactly as you would
What makes a good manager?
A good manager is firstly someone who is confident in their own abilities! So confident that their staff don't make them feel threatened. A good manager understands that they are not perfect, but they can learn and adapt and they can help their staff to do the same. A GREAT manager empowers their staff - they truly understand what their staff need individually and adapt their style to suit each staff member. There are also some simple skills a good manager has to have:
- the ability to praise
- the ability to give CONSTRUCTIVE criticism
- the ability to clearly communicate
- KPI's or measureable parameters to give clear guidance to staff
- the ability to adapt (especially when something isn't working and a new tack needs to be taken mid-sail), and
- the ability to LISTEN!
Who shouldn't be a manager, no matter what?
If you compare yourself to others and constantly feel you come up short; if you think badly of others; if your intelligent staff make you feel incompetent - you shouldn't be a manager! If you can't think of a solution to the problem, if you think that there are too many external influences to blame, IF YOU CAN'T TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY you shouldn't be a manager UNTIL you work out how to correct these issues.
A manager's job is to empower their staff; guide and mentor - not yell and belittle, or alienate and estrange. A manager's job is give clear and measureable instructions, to support each personality in their team and to enable their staff to find their strengths in an environment where they are trusted to do their best. And yes, this is all well and good if you have staff who are enlightened, but if you have staff who aren't willing to be encouraged to be self sufficient, you still have to support and uplift them, but maybe just with a bit more attention!
Know your staff - their capabilities and their strengths - help themto improve their weaknesses and allow them to have strong self esteem and you will be amazed at what they will achieve for you!
Empower your employees to solve problems collaboratively, approach issues instead of avoid them and feel valued! Be a "mentor" and you will be the BEST MANAGER!