Are you destructive or constructive in your approach to managing people? Destructive managers are critical and negative which demolishes moral, confidence and motivation. If you are the former and finding that this is not working then read on to learn what makes a constructive manager and the benefits of being so.
Building The Confidence Of Individuals
Confident employees make productive employees so building confidence is worth the investment. This involves focusing on what people do well and making sure that they are recognised for it. Too often managers only mention problems and mistakes and this can make the manager appear negative. Praise and confidence still needs to be sincere, it’s just making the effort to look for good examples of people’s work.
Praising in front of others particularly in team meetings can be very motivational providing you don’t go ‘over the top’. Likewise any constructive feedback should be delivered in private to prevent any humiliation.
Working with an employee to help them succeed in their career and life in general will also generate confidence and show that you are interested in their well-being.
Building The Capacity Of Your Team
A constructive manager is always looking to build a team for the future. They look to the long-term capacity of their team. Having specialists and top performers in your team is great while it lasts. As soon as they get promoted or leave for another challenge you leave yourself exposed.
Plan ahead for holiday cover and for the possibility that someone might leave at any moment. Not only will this protect your position and the organisation for this eventuality it will help other team members get variety in their job. It also provides a development opportunity for others to show their potential.
Sharing best practice and problem-solving within the team will encourage innovation. Teach them recognised decision making models to help them think more strategically. This means that whenever you are not there they will be better equipped to cope without you.
This will also involve you trusting them to make reasoned and structured choices.
Building Your Own Capacity
Becoming a constructive leader and manager requires constant development. True leaders never stop learning and are always looking for opportunities to learn more. Investing time and energy in developing your own capacity will always pay dividends. Remember that self-development can come in many guises, both inside and outside work.
Internal company wide projects are an excellent opportunity to broaden your skills as a manager and leader. It is also one way to influence how things are done and make changes. Pick an area that you have been frustrated with for a while and take the initiative to set up a working party across departments. Outside of work there are many organisations that are looking for people to share their skills in the community.
This doesn’t have to be the traditional voluntary organisations; it could also be taking more of a role in your sports club or social circle.
Even organising a weekend away with a few friends can develop skills such as influencing, planning and budgeting. Constructive managers are positive, proactive and always concerned with building positive, proactive teams.
They look to the long-term knowing the investment will be worth it. If you need help building a high performing team, contact MTD to see how we can support you in your quest.
Head of Training
Originally published: 11 July, 2013
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