Effective managers can learn by example from mentors they respect and want to emulate. Still, most bosses are left to their own devices in terms of developing managerial skills, and some people are promoted into positions where they have to be a boss, whether or not they want such responsibilities.
As a result, it’s common knowledge that employees tend to quit their bosses much more frequently than they do their jobs, or even companies. Gallup research shows that less than 20% of U.S. managers are rated as “competent” to manage others.
Here are some useful tips on how to be a better manager of people, including:
- Get to know yourself better, both as a manager and as someone who’s been managed (and maybe mismanaged). Every boss has a boss. Ask yourself and others – your employees, colleagues, mentors, managers – what you may be doing right and where you might improve your managerial skills.
- Be a better listener. Instead of just doling out orders to your staffers, ask for their input and how they might solve a particular challenge. Look for “teachable moments.”
- Encourage and reward good behavior on the part of your staff, even if it’s just to compliment them on a task they did well. Merely “punishing” bad performance tends to be counter-productive and can alienate your people needlessly.