Nobody likes a bossy boss. It is easy for those new to leadership to clutch onto the little things, feel disrespected when a subordinate doesn’t agree or stop listening to the team. All this may actually harm the relationship between manager and subordinate rather than cultivate it. Read on for tips on how to transition into a great leader and a respected boss. Already a boss and made mistakes? It’s not too late to patch things up, just be genuine and dedicate yourself to improving your leadership skills.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Someone’s coming in 15 minutes late every day? Calls in sick a little too often? Don’t sweat it and don’t take it personally. Instead, focus on performance. If performance is poor, point that out. However, I would try evaluating his workload. Maybe he doesn’t have enough to do. Adding more assignments might help him feel more valued and more pressured to get to work and be on time.
It could be she has too much to do or feels no one appreciates her work. Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities could be paralyzing. Or worse, feeling like she is bleeding for the cause with no recognition for her hard work could zap all motivation. Show genuine appreciation for her efforts and make sure she has the resources she needs to continue performing at a high level.
Debate. Don’t Dictate
One of my staff once told me, “You always have to be right.” My response? “Not true, but you haven’t brought any evidence to prove I am wrong.” The lesson for him was, Bring your ‘A’ Game. Always allow your staff to argue their point, and they may win the argument. However, do not allow them to come to the table unprepared. Instead, have a healthy debate where everyone needs to prove their point with facts and evidence. Eventually, the answer will surface. Don’t take offense if it gets heated. Allow the banter for the good of the product. In the end, everyone will feel heard and respected for their contribution and the result will be better for it.
Innovation is one of the exciting parts of working in IT. As a manager, it’s not up to you to innovate, but it is your responsibility to foster an environment where your staff can. Show them your vision. Is it a better user experience? Better performance? Put the demand out there, but give them the time to find a solution. They will surprise you when they come back with something awesome. Use your staff as consultants to show you options to meet your vision. Not only will you challenge them to reach their potential but you will reap the rewards of work you can all be proud of.
Don’t Abuse Your Power
Remember that you are the boss and as such, your staff is inclined to do as you say. However, reserve making a sole decision for that rare occasion that a mutual consensus cannot be obtained. If you haven’t exhausted all the possibilities and heard everyone’s ideas, you have no business deciding anything yet. Don’t steamroll your staff. Chances are, you are making a premature decision and you will regret it. If you support your staff, hear their ideas and respect their work, the team flourishes and your only challenge is to give them the support and tools they need to get their jobs done.
IT project teams are made up of professionals and should be treated as such. Don’t take poor behavior or habits personally, instead use it as an opportunity to help foster personal growth. If your motive is to help them achieve their potential, then everything you do to raise their performance will benefit each member individually and the bond with your staff will be solid.
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