We all hear how important it is to be a strong leader. For many who lead smaller organizations, it is not only critical to be a good leader, but it’s also important to be a better manager. So what qualities does a manager need to get the best performance out of their team?
The first critical skill for managers is you must know how to evaluate each of your team members in an accurate way. The largest mistake is I see managers make is they don’t evaluate performance in an objective way. They look at people and see what they hope and not what is actually there. For this reason, many high performing teams miss the mark when it comes to getting the best results they can.
The second critical skill for managers is they must know how to improve their team’s performance. It’s not enough to know our team members; we must know how to help them perform at a higher level. We need to invest our time in developing the different people on our teams in the ways that works best for them. This improves the overall performance of the individual and helps take team performance to a new level. Good managers invest time where it makes the biggest impact overall.
The third critical skill for managers is we must become good at recruiting different people for the different teams within the organization. Successful managers understand that the only thing they can count on for certain is that change keeps happening. Managers should plan on developing many people for the team and help them understand the team’s mission, vision, and value if they hope to be successful in building a stronger organization.
The fourth critical skill for managers is helping those on a team better understand their other team members’ strengths. They should be taught early and often on how to work with different strengths so they can get the best results out of the other individuals with whom they are working. Many high performing teams work so well because each member believes it is their responsibility to get the best performance out of the other team members.
The final critical skill for managers is they must nurture a culture of feedback and support. Every high performing team I’ve worked with has a strong feedback system that allows team members to share when other team members aren’t pulling their own weight or fail to meet the team’s standard during their work together. Feedback can also be positive immediately after an event occurs. People work harder when they get positive immediate feedback from others on their team. Successful managers invest the time needed to help create a positive culture for feedback and constant improvement.
A bonus skill is manager must develop is a sense of humor. Humor can reduce stress and increase the performance of different team members. Successful managers know how to use humor to inspire and motivate their teams. Good managers take their responsibilities seriously, but not themselves. Many times humor can help team members become more effective. Good managers are not afraid of being the target of their team’s humor if it helps others people on their team lighten up. Humor provides a bond among team members that allows them to regroup and reengage in a project.
Try using and developing these skills and see how quickly your team’s performance improves. See you next week.