50 ways you can become a better manager
By Richard G. Ensman, Jr.
Want to improve your performance as a manager right now? Pick a few of these time-tested success tips and implement them in your work life.1. Admit your mistakes.2. Always tell the truth.3. Ask questions.4. Ask the people around you to...
Want to improve your performance as a manager right now? Pick a few of these time-tested success tips and implement them in your work life.
1. Admit your mistakes.
2. Always tell the truth.
3. Ask questions.
4. Ask the people around you to list their top three skills. Then discuss with them how they can use the skills to more effectively reach your collective goals.
5. Be a good example.
6. Build a continuing education plan for yourself.
7. Carve 15 minutes out of your schedule each day for ‘think-and-plan’ time.
8. Delegate something you haven’t delegated before.
9. Determine what you procrastinate about. And then develop an anti-procrastination action plan.
10. Each day, make it a point to show interest and concern about the work of the people around you.
11. Encourage the people around you.
12. Face your fears. Admit to yourself what frightens you in your work life. Whether you resolve the fear or not, bringing it in the open will be liberating.
13. Figure out what distracts you from doing important (although sometimes boring) work. Ask yourself: How can you eliminate those distractions?
14. Identify the three activities that will make the most positive difference to your organization over the next year. At the start of each day, check on progress and pay attention to what you can do to move further along on your key activities.
15. Identify the triggers that make you angry or upset. Ask yourself what you can do to minimize the emotional impact of those triggers, or at least give yourself time to address problems when they occur.
16. Identify three people professionally close to you that you haven’t talked with recently. Have coffee with them.
17. Improve your time management system by writing down goals and tasks.
18. Make an inventory of your top three professional weaknesses. Ask your associates to help you overcome them.
19. Learn to say no when you need to.
20. Let a promising subordinate know that you have confidence in him or her.
21. Let your employees know what’s going on behind the scenes.
22. List the ways you get information right now, such as employee reports or sales data. Identify three ways you can improve the quality, accuracy or speed of the information.
23. Make a list of people who can help you navigate difficult situations. And call on them when the need arises.
24. Make a list of the disagreements and disputes you’ve had recently. And evaluate whether you resolved them satisfactorily. If not, read up on negotiation skills.
25. Make it a point to embrace a new idea or learn a new skill at least once a month.
26. Make up a schedule that keeps you at optimum productivity, and stick to it.
27. Never be afraid to stand up for what’s right.
28. Offer to mentor a new employee.
29. Pick one bad habit you’ve noticed among the people around you, and set a good example of the behaviour you need from them.
30. Pick one speaking or presentation skill you’d like to polish, and find a way to practice that new skill.
31. Pick one troublesome computer skill you’d like to learn, and set aside two hours to master it.
32. Pick the very best quality of each your employees. Then match that skill with some important task or unmet need.
33. Promote lifelong learning among your employees and colleagues.
34. Put a smile on your face.
35. Read blogs and websites about your interests.
36. Remain calm in the face of conflict.
37. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
38. Scan a book list for recently-published books on leadership and management. Pick one to read.
39. Set a new ‘stretch’ goal.
40. Spend some social time with your employees, colleagues or vendors.
41. Take a few minutes each day to plan goals and activities for the next day.
42. Take steps to reach optimum health. That might mean difficult changes in diet, exercise or personal routine.
43. Tell your team that you believe in them.
44. Think about the worst possible scenario you could face as a manager — and figure out how you would address the problems that scenario would pose.
45. Treat each person you meet — employees, customers, vendors, associates, visitors — with the highest standards of courtesy and respect.
46. Walk around your workplace and observe. You’re bound to learn something new.
47. Watch your language — verbal language and body language.
48. When you catch someone doing something right, acknowledge and praise it.
49. Write a new procedure for a commonly-performed task. Standard operating procedures may save you time and effort in the future.
50. Write a vision statement for your business or work unit. Share it with your people at your next team meeting.
Richard G. Ensman, Jr., is a regular contributor to Machinery & Equipment MRO.