How to be a good Manager? One Manager’s Opinion…

Article written by:  Cathy Haumann | Practice Manager | MD Accountants & Auditors Inc.

Having been a manager now for about six years, this position is a constant learning curve.  You are the filling between the directors and the staff, whilst also dealing with clients and in some cases suppliers.  You put out fires, keep people happy, manage staff and do your own work in between.

Some good tips learned over time… because if you don’t change and grow your management style, you will never grow yourself or your team.

  • Motivate your team and show appreciation as often as you can, don’t forget they are also doing their best.
  • Where repeated mistakes are made, ask why.  Look at the person, look at yourself – are you treating them like another member of the team?  Maybe they need to be treated as an individual, as they respond completely differently.
  • Show respect and expect it in return, where not shown to you, think why, is it them, is it me, what can I change, how can I learn from my mistakes?
  • Talk to your team, have discussions, chats, meetings.  Show them your less formal side now and then, we are all human, stop trying to be a robot all of the time.
  • Praise, praise, praise, where praise is due.  People feed off of this, it builds trust and confidence.
  • Never be afraid to give constructive criticism, no criticism = no growth or learning.
  • Try not to vent in office, it breeds negativity.  Where you must vent, only amongst your peers – venting to those junior or senior to yourself is showing them the cracks in your own team of peers.
  • Help your team members to break big goals down into smaller chunks, the big picture can often be very daunting.  Meet regularly for feedback.
  • Learn how to delegate properly.  Delegation is not easy.  Each person listens differently and takes in different details – they must write everything down and where confusion often arises, request them to tell you quickly afterwards what they understood your instruction to mean.
  • Show your team that you are not afraid to take blame when the need arises, they must do the same – a culture of finger pointing never got anything solved.
  • Try to never discipline anyone while others can see or overhear, fear is never the way to go.
  • Lead by example, words are empty if you behave like someone else.  People copy what they see.
  • Always see the silver lining, being constantly negative brings everyone involved down – look for this lining no matter how small, point it out, repeat it, make others believe it -> change thought patterns.
  • Learn from your mistakes, get up and try again – the same goes for those around you – repeated mistakes are happening for a reason, because really they shouldn’t be repeated at all.
  • Know when to walk away once you have put all the correct processes in place – it is useless trying to fit someone into a role they simply are unable to do, or are not interested in doing.
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