As a manager, you undoubtedly keep track of how your employees do their work. But don’t forget that the people who report to you are keeping an eye on you too. They are watching to see how you lead, coach, and do your job.
Consider what behaviors you want to be exhibiting? Go about your work the way you want others to work.
Have faith in your staff. Not everyone may have your wisdom. Give them a chance to show you what they can do.
Make sure your team understands the objectives of each project, but be careful not to micromanage them every step of the way.
Coach your team. Don’t just sit down with your staff when you have to make an assignment or critique performance. Use regular meetings with individuals as coaching opportunities. Each of them needs to know how they can function more effectively.
Look for opportunities to provide professional development for your team members. Sometimes the best training opportunities come from daily work. If one staff member has an aptitude in one skill, he or she might be in the best position to train others. You might also want to bring in a guest speaker or look for other means of advancing the skill sets of you and your staff.
Show your enthusiasm for the tasks ahead. Not every assignment will be exciting for you or members of your team. But if you don’t show enthusiasm for the work at hand, how can you expect anyone else to? Your attitude is being watched and copied.
Listen to what your employees have to say. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from even the youngest, most inexperienced team member. If you catch yourself saying, “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” turn on your ears and at least give others a chance to tell you what’s on their mind.
Share praise and take the bullet. Don’t be afraid to sing the praise of your team. Give credit to others whenever possible. Early in your career, you would have appreciated that sentiment. Conversely, if something goes wrong, take the blame. Chances are you were involved in decisions related to the project, and pinning the bad news on a subordinate is not the kind of move that will endear you to anyone.
Just as you expect your staff members to grow in their jobs, following these tips will help your leadership skills develop as well.