As a manager, what is your legacy going to be? Do you want to be remembered as being a good manager or as a bad manager? The best managers are remembered for what they did for their team, the bad ones are remembered for what they did to their team. Using your manager skills to be remembered as a good manager is a tricky thing to do. It’s tricky because, as a manager, it’s easy to focus solely on tending to the business and your career, forgetting that tending to your team first will take care of both. Here are the five most powerful things you can do for your team today in order to do right by your team.
Become A MOAT Builder
So what is this MOAT thing? It turns out that MOAT stands for “managing on absolute trust,” and it’s something that you have to do. It’s what you would want if you were a member of your team. You need to picture building a moat around my team as being a key part of your job. Doing so creates an empowered island where team members are free to choose how they rule their kingdoms (their projects, business, and affairs) without interference.
What you want to make happen is for your team to feel protected from outside interference, and yet there always has to be a drawbridge to your help and assistance. You need to cross over that drawbridge upon request or do so to provide coaching and nurturing. A drawbridge is narrow, by design. So requests for new work that you flow to your people have to be both narrowed and prioritized also. Thinking of the drawbridge metaphor should serve as a reminder for you to prioritize what you ask your team to work on before you make requests. Finally, moats are reserved for protecting and growing important assets. Picturing the moat around your team should remind you that they are all valued and valuable, worthy and worthwhile.
Become The Manager Who Gives The Best Feedback
As a manager, you need to understand that it’s not enough for you to just take the time to conduct feedback sessions with your team. Any leader can do that, although not every leader does. Research shows that two-thirds of employees want more feedback, and 83 percent say the feedback they get isn’t all that helpful. This is exactly the kind of thing that gets covered in manager training.
The best managers go beyond and thoughtfully plan out and deliver insightful, actionable, even daring, feedback. Think of the best feedback you’ve ever gotten and replicate what had to be true for you to have gotten it. It required insight into you as a person and nailing a fundamental truth about what makes you great (that you should do more of) or what was holding you back. It took time, careful observation, and for the person who gave you the feedback to be caring enough about you to get the feedback spot-on and deliver it in a way you could hear it.
Take The Time To Care About Your Team’s Career As Much As You Care About Yours
In order to get your team to support you, you need to let them know that you really do care about their career. The way that you can make this start to happen is to start by having clear career conversations. Help the members of your team identify what they want to do in their careers, not what they are supposed to want to do. Get clear with them on what it takes to get where they want to go, and discuss options. Note that you don’t want to set unrealistic expectations for them.
Your next step needs to be to advocate for them all the time–even have a marketing plan for showcasing their talents in ways that will give them a career boost. Do this by knowing who the target audience is of career influencers at your company that you want to expose each employee to, what the key career-enhancing messages are that you want to share, how you’ll share them, and when.
Understand What The Members Of Your Team Don’t Do Well
If you want to really help the members of your team, then you are going to have to get them to share their most closely held performance weaknesses: the things they know they need to work on but are too afraid to admit. This puts their learning into overdrive, but can only happen if you have a foundation of trust in place. Maybe they don’t like to speak in front of large groups or feel they stink at analysis. You need to agree to not put the opportunity on any formal performance report and just get to work helping the team member develop on that front. These are the types of things that can be worked on during team building events.
Know When To Teach Your Team
As the manager of a team, you always have to be on the lookout for teachable moments when learning is most powerful. Moments like this come right after they don’t give their best effort during a key presentation or when they’re seeing things only from their side during conflicts or tensions. In those moments, you need to coach your team members.
What All Of This Means For You
We all want to be remembered as being a good manager. In order to make that happen, we need to find ways to give back to the members of our team. There is no one right way to go about doing this, instead there are a number of different things that we need to start doing.
Managers need to learn how to build MOATs around their team so that they feel as though they can do their jobs with a minimum of interference from others. Our team members all want to know how they are doing. In order to make this happen, we need to get good at providing the members of our team with excellent feedback on how they are performing. You can show your team how much you care about them by letting them know that you care about their careers as much as you care about yours. One of the things that you team members will be most sensitive about will be the things that they don’t do well. As their manager, you need to provide them with opportunities to get better at the things that they don’t do well. As a manager it is your responsibility to teach your team and so you are going to have to determine what they need to learn.
When it comes to doing things for your team, you need to do these things right because they’re the right things to do. Your career success depends on your team. If you want them to be supporting you, then you need to take the time to support them. Use these suggestions to show your team that you are the manager that they have always been looking for. Your support of your team will result in their support of you.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: When you want to give good feedback to the members of your team, what’s the best way to go about doing this?
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