How to Be a Manager: Be the Boss You Always Wanted
If you've ever had a great manager, you know how much it increases your job satisfaction. If you've had a bad manager, you also know how miserable it can make going to the office on a regular basis.
October 16, 2018

If you've ever had a great manager, you know how much it increases your job satisfaction. If you've had a bad manager, you also know how miserable it can make going to the office on a regular basis.

New managers often think they know what it will be like and exactly the type of boss they want to be. They think their direct reports will admire them and they will cultivate star employees.

It isn't always as easy as it looks. Read on to learn more about how to be the kind of boss you always wanted.

Be Transparent and Inclusive

One of the top complaints of many employees is that their managers don't tell them what's going on at the leadership level with the higher-ups, so they don't feel engaged. The best managers keep their employees in the know, communicate frequently, and ask their team members for input.

Great managers are passionate about working with their teams and foster the same feeling with their direct reports. Give them plenty of time to work independently, but also have ample teamwork projects to help create a collaborative, supportive culture.

Generate trust and transparency with frequent communication, but don't schedule pointless meetings just for the sake of meeting. Use technology to your advantage and use project management software like Samewave to collaborate, communicate and hold team members accountable to their goals.

Help Your Team Members Grow

Schedule at least two one-on-one meetings with each direct report per month and be sure to find ways to help them grow. The best managers know it's not the person with the same skills they hired at the time that will move the company forward. They invest in the individual to help them grow, gain new knowledge and become even better at their job.

Take the time to assess your team members' strengths and weaknesses, and what they are most interested in. If you have a new hire who is interested in developing a podcast, send him or her to a workshop or professional development conference to help them hone the craft.

Be open to new ideas from employees, making sure they feel comfortable submitting them. If they don't think you will be open and that an idea would just be shut down you may miss out on some great opportunities!

If you have a good employee who struggles with time management, make sure there is a budget for webinars or courses about how to master time management rather than simply chastising them for wasting time or not meeting goals.

In the same vein, invest in yourself as a leader. Never assume you know everything. First-time managers and experienced managers alike should advance their management skills with workshops, training programs, conferences and self-reflection. Ask your employees for open, honest feedback about your management style and incorporate their answers into your own career development. Some managers even take the extra time and find a management mentor to help them develop their skills.

Don't Micromanage

Great managers are supportive and they are able to discern how much oversight different people with varying work styles need. They also typically know how to hire the right people who don't need micromanaging.

Give your team members the tools and resources to do their job well, and the best employees will do it without prodding. Be open and supportive so your team feels they can come to you at any time but don't meddle or abuse your power.

Make sure your expectations are clear and clarify that they understand what they are responsible for. Using project and task management software as a team often helps streamline team communication and keeps everyone on the same page.

Equip Your Team With the Tools they Need

Good managers make sure their team members have the skills, knowledge and tools required to do their best work. There's nothing that frustrates an employee more than to be asked to do something when they don't have the information they need to get it done.

For example, imagine if you are the manager of a marketing team and you have a client that wants a new blog page designed for their website. You can't simply tell an employee to design the page for the client. You need to get the vision, images and preferred style from the client. Involve the employee that will design the page in the planning stages and work alongside them rather than just handing them a project.

Make sure they have the tools and resources needed to do the job well. For example, if your designer has never worked with Wordpress and that's what would be used for the blog, give them training opportunities so they can work efficiently and deliver the best results to the client.

Be a Humble Leader

The best managers never think too highly of themselves just because they are in a leadership role or project an attitude that they are better than their direct reports. Remember that as the manager you should always be growing and learning every day.

Humble team leaders foster trust and their employees feel empowered and engaged. A collaborative team spirit evolves as a result. Employees are happier, and happy employees do their best work.

One study showed that being a humble leader has one of the most powerful effects on a business: "Humility was one of the most significant indicators, after empowerment, of altruistic leadership in this study."

Humility is often overlooked in leadership positions because it can be associated with weakness. However, being humble means you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and always aim to improve. Humble leaders are more focused on the mission, their team and the big picture rather than themselves.

Be the Manager You Always Wanted

While managing people isn't easy, becoming one and honing your skills on a daily basis can be incredibly rewarding. When you see your team members performing, engaged and happy, it's worth the effort.

Incorporate these strategies into your management style and don't take your responsibilities lightly. Your employees with thank you for your efforts!

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