Do you remember the name of the teacher you used to hate in school?
They always used to use classic lines like ‘The bell doesn’t dismiss you, I do’, or asked you to repeat what they just said to the entire class.
Which of course they knew you couldn’t do.
Bad teachers always had a gift to make their lessons drag on for eternity, and always knew exactly how to belittle and embarrass us.
Fast-forward into the future and you now work for someone who reminds you of that teacher.
Or worse yet…
You have turned into that teacher and don’t even recognise it?
The Reality We Don’t Want To Face
One of the top reasons to why people leave their job is poor management.
How many conversations have you had with your friends where they have said the words:
‘I don’t understand how they became a manager; they can’t manage.’
However, the simple truth is we learn from other people who have more knowledge than us. So, it’s highly likely we are going to adopt the same behaviour responses and habits from our previous manager. Right?
But if you have had a bad manager previously how do you stop becoming one?
- Teach Don’t Tell
Instead of TELLING employees the answer to a question or situation you should try to help them build the skills to solve it themselves. This can be time consuming at first, but eventually, employees should be able to tackle tasks quicker and more independently in the future. Ever heard of give a man a fish he eats for a day but teach a man to fish he eats for the rest of his life?
Good managers use situations as teaching opportunities.
- Create a Safe Space
Do you remember in school when you were too afraid to answer a question in case it may be wrong? Us too. This is not productive and stunts growth. If you feel your employees are struggling within this area, try encouraging them to build creativity and initiative, through questions like ‘what would you do in this situation?’.
Good managers are able to create safe spaces where employees feel comfortable to suggest ideas.
- Don’t Micro-Manage
It can be difficult to delegate tasks to other employees when you are used to doing them in your way, but its crucial you do so! If mistakes are made, then so be it (within reason we don’t want anyone accidentally setting the building on fire)! But haven’t we all made mistakes that have made us better learners?
Good managers observe from a good distance but are always there to assist when needed.
- Be Receptive
It’s a scary thought but as a manager you are responsible for your employee’s mental health at work. Like when we were kids, school often affected our home life, and our work life is no different. The majority of the time employees don’t tell their manager what they are really feeling, and it can result in a decline in performance.
Good managers are observant and attentive to what is going on around them.
- Ask the Questions
How many times have you felt unable to approach your boss about possible career opportunities or promotions? Many people assume their managers will say no, therefore never ask. So how do we fix this? Let’s ask them. This is not only productive for the employee but also the organisation, it increases job satisfaction, motivation and loyalty.
A good manager is able to approach their employees and constructively direct them into improving professionally.
- Strong Professional Relationships.
This is not to say throw caution to the wind and become best friends with your employees. You have to be able to give honest feedback which sometimes can be critical. However, as long as you establish that work comes first, you can still have a good, friendly relationship with your employees, which can be highly beneficial. Like in school you are more likely to learn when you want to listen to the person teaching.
Good managers are able to increase moral and productivity through their relationships with their employees.
In the words of our greatest professor of all time. ‘It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities’. Don’t you agree?