As a manager, how do you discover what people expect you to do? What feedback do you want that will help you improve your game and create opportunities for expansion in the future?
The best way yet found to increase knowledge is to ask questions. So here are a few questions to ask that will help you discover what your team expect of you:
Management role: How do you define the quality of work I produce? What do you expect of me as your manager? How should I communicate with you?
Decision-Making: What do you expect me to do when making and communicating decisions? How should I include you when I make decisions? When would you like to be involved when decisions are made?
The working environment: What environment would you expect me to build and maintain? How would you define the company/department culture, and is this what you want it to be?
Creativity: How important is innovative thinking and creativity to our roles? Do I encourage creative thinking or is it ‘same-old, same-old’? How would you like to be motivated to generate new ideas?
Team development and productivity: What does a great team look like? How would you like me to help you develop your own skills and abilities? How would you like me to deal with poor performance?
Communication: What does effective communication mean to you? In meetings, what would you expect to see and hear? How would you like me to communicate with you if I see problems or challenges?
Partnership: How important is the way we partner and collaborate to you? In what ways would you like to see partnership and collaboration improve?
Growth and advancement: In what ways would you like to see me grow and advance? Which areas require more work than others?
If you think you already know the answers that your team will give, think again! Things change fast in business and people’s attitudes and ideas can change just as fast. Ask these questions annually at least, and have an open mind when you discuss their answers. Expect to be told things that will make you think. And consider changing things that you can when you hear things that show your team’s expectations are different to what you thought.
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.