The type of manager you are sets the course for how your business or department is run. Your own personality will weigh heavily into how you manage a team, but you can always take a few pointers to improve your style and communication.
While every manager is unique, there are certain stereotypical types that ring true. See if you identify with any of these.
Mike the Micromanager
Mike’s there every time an employee makes a move — and sometimes before she makes one. He wants to make sure his instructions are followed out perfectly, and there’s no margin for error.
It’s great that Mike is so on top of what his team is working on, but to be honest, his employees find it hard to feel like Mike trusts them to do their work. They sometimes feel down because they know he’ll check their work, even if he knows they always deliver flawless results.
If This Is You: Ease up a little. You hired your team because they were competent, and your peering over their shoulders is making them feel you don’t trust them. Trust is key in a workplace relationship. Likely, things won’t fall apart if you back off and let them get their work done, so give it a try.
She’s not the manager who wants to dive into personality conflicts with her staff, nor is she one to give a lot of guidance about how she wants things run. She prefers to let her employees figure it out themselves.
While this fosters creativity and problem solving among her team, sometimes employees simply need a manager to lead them. After all, it’s a manager’s role to support and direct them to the right decisions.
If This Is You: Get more involved in major decisions, while still taking input from your team. They want to feel included in decision-making, but they look to you to be the ultimate say on what happens with the company.
When Victor is displeased with an employee, the whole office knows it. He raises his voice to verbally berate anyone who’s done a subpar job (in his opinion). He may not realize he’s demoralizing his team, but his harsh communication style is having a negative impact on morale.
If This Is You: Consider how you’re being perceived by your staff. You may not think you’re raising your voice or saying unkind things, but your staff may be less objective. Try to keep your feedback neutral, and provide constructive criticism.
Work on Your Communication
While every manager has a different communication style, there are key features that tend to make for a better work environment:
– Active listening: Do you pay attention to your employees when they try to share ideas or concerns with you? Do you actively work to provide solutions?
– Constructive feedback: Do you criticize your employees or try to provide them suggestions for how they can improve their work?
– Multiple forms of communication: You may prefer to speak via email, but your staff might like meeting face to face. Respect their preferred type of communication.