How much time do you spend at work? Now, how much of that time is devoted to managing yourself, as opposed to your team members?
Ok, so you don’t have time to manage yourself. Well, how about finding out how you can make your job easier for yourself. Does that sound better?
Here are some tips on how you can make it easier for people to get the best results from you, based on discussions with Len Schlesinger.
1) Each day, invest 10-15 minutes in having a one-to-one with someone you are responsible for. – Just listen. Ask some easy, open-ended questions: How’s it all going? What will you be working on during the next month? etc. You will be amazed by how much you learn.
2) Make it clear to people how you want to hear from them. Is it a two page memo on your desk, or email,voicemail, face to face, mobile? Then respond briskly to those who use your preferred way of communicating.
3) Don’t presume people can read your mind. If a consistent pattern of behaviour, performance or way of communicating rubs you up the wrong way, say something about it.
4) Be clear and open. The people you work with probably have no idea of the pressures and stresses that go with your job, and of the competing demands for your time and attention. Help them understand. Explain yourself. It will help them understand things from your perspective and increase people’s respect for you.
5) Make it easy for people to communicate with you. You may be the manager, but you need people around you to keep you informed of what’s going on. Make yourself approachable and don’t criticise what people say to you; you’ll never know when you need to know more from that person.
6) Great leadership is about getting one more person to be more productive, more focused and more fulfilled than yesterday. By doing that, you achieve more through the people who work for you.
Which, coincidentally, is the main reason why you exist as a leader anyway.
When you have tried these ideas, measure the results and identify what you are doing right, so you can repeat it again and again.
Originally published: 28 March, 2012
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