When it comes to management, fundamentals often beat 'fancy'. Sure, there's nothing wrong with, say, presentation skills that spellbind your audience. But when it comes to effectiveness, how you execute fundamentals every day is what determines this.
In that spirit, here are five fundamentals you should adopt. They could make you a better manager for what's left of 2015!
Five ways to become a more effective manager
#1: Be open-minded
Be open to new ways of seeing things. Be flexible, adaptable, and closely attuned to your environment. Always seek new opportunities. Be a great listener. Don't be afraid to shift the paradigm and move away from, 'this is the way we've always done it here!'
#2: Expect excellence
Set high but not unattainable standards. Expect your employees to meet them. It's not about being a 'tough' or 'nice' manager. It's about getting the best results from your employees. Once they know you demand excellence in yourself, they're more likely to find it in themselves.
#3: Ensure your employees know where to focus
33 Tools to be an effective manager
Six Sigma, 5S, Delphi, Ishikawa, Pareto, Flowcharts... These are just some of the many management tools out there. And, now you can adapt them to your specific needs... and put them to work.
The idea is quite simple, as all things in life: Every problem has its solution. If you know where to look and what rules to apply...
Unfortunately, and not only in South Africa, management is one of the "things" that you probably "play" by ear. We think we know it all, that we are good at all kinds of things and we'll learn on the fly anyway.
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This is so important! Be sure your employees' objectives clearly reflect them. Well-conceived, measurable employee objectives are your best friend. They move performance from the realm of the subjective into the objective.
#4: Provide meaningful feedback in real time
Communicate well with your employees. Make yourself readily available to them. Be there, be present, be accessible! Even if you're managing remotely, you're still reachable by text, phone, email, etc.
#5: Deal with conflict directly and fairly
Don't duck conflict. As a manager you can't be a 'conflict avoider'. You must address problems quickly and fairly. Your employees are keen observers. They'll note if you take action when needed. They'll respect you if you confront difficult situations, just as they'll lose respect for you if you avoid them.
And remember: It's never too late to become a better manager! All the best!