Characteristics of a Good Leader: Tips for New Managers
Even if you feel capable of handling your new duties, taking on a leadership role for the first time might be intimidating. It might be stressful to go from concentrating exclusively on the quality of your own work to managing the production of a full staff. However, successfully managing your team and achieving success may be quite satisfying.
It may be challenging to negotiate the connection between a manager and their staff. It involves more than just telling everyone what to do; in fact, that kind of management is strongly discouraged. We’ll discuss what makes managers really effective leaders as well as some bad management habits to stay away from.
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What are the ideal characteristics of good managers?
We’ll discuss the four key qualities of effective managers and provide guidance from seasoned influencers on how to apply these qualities to your leadership style.
1. Good managers are collaborative.
A vital first step for new managers is to foster a collaborative atmosphere where everyone feels heard, respected, and appreciated. A cohesive group fosters a friendly, encouraging atmosphere.
By establishing the tone for workplace ethics, you may promote collaboration as a manager.
Delegating duties, fostering communication and feedback via frequent one-on-one meetings, and emphasizing reciprocal trust within the team are some suggestions for fostering a collaborative work atmosphere, according to Summer Salomonsen, a former chief learning officer at Grovo.
2. Supportive managers are growth-oriented.
Effective leaders should concentrate on fostering both individual and group growth among their staff. Get to know your employees on a personal level so you can assist them in using their abilities. Discover what works and what doesn’t, and give eliminating barriers from the way of your workers’ greatest performance a high priority.
Managers should “have a development objective that isn’t about the company,” argues Will Esdaile, vice president of performance marketing at Blue Nile. Have one objective that isn’t related to a business result and is focused on the growth of one or more team members. Learning a new language or gaining confidence in public speaking are two examples of this.
3. Excellent managers know how to communicate.
Clear communication is an essential quality for supervisors since it is the driving force behind almost everything individuals do. You should be honest about significant issues, set clear expectations for your staff, and develop procedures for providing and receiving feedback.
Salomonsen counsels managers to cultivate a varied and inclusive workplace atmosphere where everyone may express their worries, thoughts, and ideas. Leading by example—asking for assistance or admitting you don’t grasp something in front of your staff—can help to foster honesty and vulnerability. Great leaders express how they are addressing issues and are aware of their own strengths and flaws.
4. Good managers motivate their employees to improve.
Employees might be motivated by incentives other than money. Every employee wants to feel appreciated. They won’t be driven if they don’t think their effort is in some way changing the world.
New managers should “take some time to get to know each team member’s skills and where they need additional help,” according to Yaniv Masjedi, marketing staff at Aura. Make use of assignments to help you and your team learn. Then provide support where it’s required and lean as hard as you can when you can.
As you develop in your position, Masjedi said, it is vital to learn with your colleagues. Your team will be motivated to perform better in their own roles as they see you working hard to improve.
Bad leadership habits every manager should avoid
As they take on their new duties, newly appointed managers often develop poor leadership practises. Salomonsen identified six areas for improvement in leadership.
Providing only negative feedback:
Managers could make the mistake of simply giving feedback during performance evaluations or when issues develop. The professional growth of an employee depends on feedback. Feedback, however, goes beyond only criticism to offer compliments for certain efforts. Employees may feel disheartened and lose interest in their job if they receive a constant stream of negative comments.
While you must monitor the progress of your team and assist workers in overcoming obstacles, you shouldn’t strive to exert total control. It’s crucial to respect each person’s working style and have faith in your team to finish assignments as a collective. As your employees adapt, forcing them to complete activities against their usual workflow might result in a considerable loss of productivity. Give your workers some leeway for innovation as long as the ultimate product remains the same.
Not requesting feedback:
Poor managers seldom ever ask for or respond to queries, comments, or concerns. Team members should be given the opportunity to speak freely and ask any questions or raise any issues with the management. This will often resolve misconceptions and foster a more cooperative environment. Remember that if one team member has a question, others could also seek advice.
Shutting themselves off from new ideas:
Managers with narrow minds won’t be open to fresh ideas or criticism. They turn into a barrier that prevents the team from giving its best effort. Each team member is well equipped to identify inefficiencies in their own workflow since they each have their own viewpoint on the creative process. Utilize the ideas of your team and their views to bring about constructive change.
Avoiding tricky conversations:
Effective leaders must confront difficult circumstances that impair the team’s productivity head-on. Avoiding these circumstances allows the issue to worsen and may result in much lower employee engagement.
Not setting clear expectations:
Poor managers often establish expectations that are either high or too low and are confused about the team’s objectives. Instead, managers should set project expectations before getting started to ensure that their team is aware of the intended outcome. When expectations are too high or too low, objectives may appear impossible or the overall performance may fall short of important benchmarks.
What strategies should a new manager implement?
New managers may guarantee their team is operating at its best using a number of strategies. Think about these strategies:
Introduce yourself to team members.
Introduce yourself to your new team as soon as you can when taking on a new managing position. Meeting everyone gives you the chance to establish trust with the group and lay out the professional standards for the near future.
Set recurring one-on-ones.
You have the opportunity to provide feedback, recognize team members for their accomplishments, and address any possible obstacles when you regularly check in with each team member. By doing this, you may routinely address any difficulties and cooperate to solve challenges.
Align team and company goals.
Setting the speed of your project involves matching team objectives with the overarching business goals. Additionally, staff will have distinct professional objectives to fulfil when they know what you anticipate of them. These objectives may help them understand how their efforts impact the company’s performance.
Set measurable benchmarks for team performance.
Everyone benefits from establishing performance metrics for your team. Employees may develop attainable professional objectives with the aid of team performance goals. Additionally, team objectives provide you a quick method to identify whether an employee is having trouble completing their job.
Maintain transparency about company decisions.
Unlike your workers, you have greater access to leadership choices as a manager. Employee disengagement may be brought on by keeping these choices to yourself and abruptly altering your team’s workflow. Instead, be as transparent and honest about changes to corporate policy as is permitted. By doing this, even if the adjustments you must make are challenging, you develop trust with your team.
How can you grow and develop as a manager?
Never, particularly as a leader, should you feel confused or unsupported upon assuming a new position. Here are three ways in which you might develop in your new role.
1. Participate in management training.
Before recruiting, every business should give training. Due to financial or time constraints, many firms do not priorities management development. According to Salomonsen, some even limit access to these programmes to top management or provide training only occasionally.
Although satisfying and encouraging, she said that these sessions seldom had an effect on daily work. Moreover, it would be prohibitively costly for most businesses to send every new manager to a management seminar during their first week on the job.
Another option that is particularly useful for small organizations is internal training. To go through the fundamentals, have a few sessions with corporate specialists or managers. Employees often advance to management positions because they are familiar with the standards and expectations of the business.
2. Utilize micro learning methods.
Small firms often use the training technique known as micro learning. It moves quickly, is intense, and is teamwork. Managers may get all the knowledge they need in manageable chunks without being overwhelmed in the process.
Salomonsen said, “With micro learning, both novice and seasoned managers may receive consumable courses that concentrate on the crucial behaviours they need to operate at their peak, directly in the course of their day-to-day job.” When implemented properly, a micro learning strategy enables managers to swiftly put new information into practice and progressively develop better habits and abilities over time.
In comparison to lengthy training programmes, micro learning is effective and far less expensive.
3. Work with mentors and L&D partners.
By offering assistance and specialized expertise, working with a mentor or learning and development (L&D) partner may position new managers for success.
According to Salomonsen, “each individual is unique, and every new manager has their own areas of development in the early days of their new post.” “They will require assistance from senior colleagues, whether they need to improve their interpersonal, time-management, strategic planning, or leadership style…. Early on, finding a management mentor or L&D partner may assist provide a solid basis for the growth of the new manager in their position.
Network as much as you can while keeping an open mind regarding coworkers, acquaintances, and business contacts. You’ll feel more at ease in your job once you start working with someone who can help you through the first phase.
According to Brett Helling, proprietor of Gigworker.com and Ridester, “Everyone needs a mentor.” “Find one and talk about the issues you are having. An obvious sign of personal development is having a mentor or an expert around.