What ‘is’ it that makes you a MANAGER?
The work that you do?
The processes you look after?
The meetings you attend?
The package you get?
The car you drive?
The products you represent?
The only reason you are a manager ‘is’ the PEOPLE you manage. So, just imagine. If your team is lacking energy, zeal, and motivation to work, what is the quality of the job you are doing?
When employees feel that managers care more about the work than about them, they may feel insignificant. However, when an Employee feels that his or her Manager is as concerned about him as about his or her work, the Employee is more likely to display trust, a characteristic trait of high-performing companies. In addition, when managers take the time to create this sense of trust amongst their employees, they gain invaluable insight into what motivates each Employee. What motivates one person may do nothing for another. Here are some activities managers can use to get to know their subordinates and discover what motivates them:
Encourage people to ask questions.
Questions are strictly prohibited at work and at home. In fact, asking more questions has, unfortunately, became a sign of being stupid. Remember, as Oscar Wilde puts it…‘Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are’. As managers, you should thrive on asking questions and responding to even more questions.
Focus on Strengths.
Become reacquainted with the strength and weakness of each person in the team. Once you do, focus on the strengths NOW. Don’t waste your time or your Team Member’s life by working on weaknesses only. Remember, ‘Sachin’ is ‘Sachin’ because of the way he bats – so what’s the point in training him well for bowling?
Take time to listen.
Listening is undoubtedly the most under-rated skill. Remember, listening doesn’t come naturally. Hearing comes naturally. We have to work real HARD to improve our listening skills. Observe your impatience while someone else is talking. Listening is indeed one of the rarest skills of our times.
Network with staff.
When managers know the strengths of their people, they can connect individuals to others who can help them do a better job, and everyone benefits. People who are asked to help others feel valued, and those receiving help feel supported; both are truly motivating.
Ask for their input.
‘I DON’T KNOW’… a very powerful comment. Try it once. Respond with this comment to a question that comes to you, and see how relaxed you feel. Don’t get overwhelmed with your own intelligence. Ask for their inputs, let them contribute, and let yourself be amazed by what they have to contribute.
Delegation is a skill, blessed to only those few, who know that they are not the only ones in the world who can do a particular piece of work. Delegating, and doing it sensibly, is perhaps the best on-job-training you can ever offer your team.
As the leader, be the first to meet (and exceed) the standards set for others. Don’t bother with speeches. ACT. Act NOW… and see the power of true inspiration.
Coach, don’t criticize.
When you are tempted to give feedback, examine your motives. If feedback will not improve the organization or the individual, don’t give it. If it will facilitate performance or career development, understand that it is coaching, and not just criticism. But remember the rule… Never get personal.
Praise first, then give suggestions.
Offer five compliments for every constructive criticism, and don’t mix the two in one conversation. Plus, never criticize in public, and try not to appreciate in private.
Use responsibility and advancement as awards.
A high performer deserves more responsibility and the respect that comes with it. It’s not the MONEY only.
Celebrate as a team.
Lead a mini celebration in the office at least once a week for even a small win. Don’t wait for BIG WIN. There are NO big wins. There are only small wins and many of such small wins, make a HUGE SUCCESS. As Tom Peters puts it: Celebrate what you want to see more of.
Everyone hates a ‘constipated face’. Carry that million-dollar smile with you. It’s not only a curve that sets things right – but also communicates the fact that you are blessed and gives hope to those who look up to you!
Say Thank you.
Who you are if they aren’t there? Thank them daily for being what they are. Remember: at least 25 thankyous a day, keeps success in tact and failure away!
Have a Motivated and Motive-Acted life ahead!