I truly believe that whether you are a seasoned manager, or just starting out, the methodology of becoming a good manager and then a true leader is always the same; it’s about caring. If you don’t care about the work you do, if you don’t care about people around you, and if you perform at a subpar level, how are you going to be a good manager? When is the last time you assessed yourself on this question?
As a manager, you might encounter some amazing, talented people and some challenging people. As a person invested in a leadership path of caring, you must be able to navigate equally well through any type of people. When everyone is motivated to be part of the solution, everyone in the team and the whole company benefits. Be respectful and offer the unbiased and meaningful amount of help to all in your organization. You might see the behaviors of many individuals shift over time to a better and often to a greater.
Good managers understand that keeping employees happy is not about being nice or doing the politically correct thing, but it’s about genuine care and about doing the right thing. The right decision would result after manager says what needs to be said and not what would be safe or just nice to say. Spending more time and effort (money as well for some cases) can be justified because it is about consistently getting the best from employees – drive towards their full potential – and keeping them committed for the long term.
After all, utilizing the full potential of employees is the end goal.
Doing this type of checking in with your peers, co-workers and others seeking your advice should be a consistent and ongoing effort as it drives to a higher performance and company’s growth. When managers check in with their direct reports on their goals, they are “24 times more likely to achieve them,” according to data analyzed by BetterWorks. Schedule meetings with the people you work with and ask how they feel in the organization. Let it be known that you are not only looking for the work-result, but you are also looking for employee satisfaction and how they carry on with their values, life, interests.
Providing direct and honest feedback is the only option to build long term and trusted relationships. Feedback and performance reviews can trigger a lot of anxiety in people, so be respectful and go in with positive energy but with the true story. From my 20+ years of experience in corporate organizations, I can tell you for sure that people do bring more value and results when they see consistent and genuine care. They do produce more as they strive now to use all their talent and potential, because they start caring too in return. Companies with caring leaders have much higher productivity and profit. I have coached people around the world and with care (I had and still carry a brand “Emma Cares”) turned many people from non-performing to super stars, from people wanting to leave their jobs to stay and turn that job to a phenomenal career. Those were young, seasoned, different cultural backgrounds. Caring people management worked for all and for each regardless of those differences!
Managers who are stuck in the same role for too long, may be acting on old habits. It may cloud their judgment. They may show low energy and treat people around with constant negativity, looking for minor items and nor offering productive mentorship or advice. We see and recognize them and those managers quickly can be put into “bad manager” group. That is particularly the case when they openly show lack of caring. In those situations, you may even find them being more detached and treating people around them with indifference or disrespect. Uncaring managers miss the opportunity to cultivate people’s talents, leading to less efficiency and overall employee dissatisfaction.
I have been sharing some helpful to-dos for people to become caring and good managers, building strong foundation becoming a caring leader.
Here is a quick but helpful assessment you may conduct frequently for yourself and advise others as well.
A GOOD MANAGER QUICK ASSESSMENT
- Well aware of your personal type, work style and preferences?
- Established with your personal brand?
- Motivating people you work with and who work for you?
- Thanking people for contributions and for the job well done?
- Helping people to plan their success?
- Identifying the potential and unique talent in each person?
- Sharing enough your technical and soft skills?
- Responding promptly to people requests / issues?
- Engaged and aware of people passion and mission and do you know if that would use their full potential?
- Challenging people enough to reach their potential?
Please Understand Me II: Character and Temperament Types, by David Keirsey
Rules for Cultivating Leadership Excellence, by Jean Otte, Rosina Racioppi and Jill Ferguson, 2009