Great managers aren’t born, they’re made. And becoming a great manager requires honest self-analysis and periodic reassessments. The following checklist was designed to guide you in that analysis. Use it to take stock of your people skills. Be honest with yourself.
Then, tuck it away and revisit it in six months. Ask yourself: Are you working to maintain those strengths and abilities you already possess? Have you improved where you are weak?
Place a mental checkmark next to the behaviors that you feel confident you exhibit on a routine basis.
1. Guide, don’t control. Don’t take a completely hands-off approach, but don’t micromanage either. Explain what needs to get done, but don’t dictate exactly how you want it done.
2. Utilize employees’ strengths. All of your employees have something to offer. Identify, recognize and cultivate their specific skills.
3. Empower employees. Give them the tools they need to succeed and the opportunities to learn new skills.
4. Trust. Don’t second-guess your employees’ abilities. Believe that you hired good personnel.
5. Take an active interest in employees as individuals. Inquire about their families and hobbies. Remember their birthdays. Offer condolences when necessary.
6. Offer praise. Be quick to give a compliment for a job well done.
7. Respect employees. Your position of authority doesn’t excuse belittling, abusing or humiliating workers, no matter how unintentional. Check that your tone isn’t condescending or parental, especially when giving instructions or critiques.
8. Admit shortcomings and ask for help. There is no shame in admitting to an employee that they are more skilled in a particular area than you. Asking for help shows that you respect the employee’s knowledge.
9. Have integrity. Avoid a “do as I say and not as I do” attitude. Hold yourself to the same standards to which you hold employees. Give credit where credit is due. For instance, if you use an idea from an employee in a proposal you submit to your boss, give the employee credit.
10. Learn from your mistakes. It’s not enough to admit when you make mistakes. Learn not to repeat them. Otherwise, employees are going to consider your admissions of error and accompanying apologies as nothing more than lip service.