The art of managing people and motivating employees successfully starts with a simple formula: KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid or KISS is a principle taught by high school English teachers trying to teach the basics of writing a good paper. While KISS may seem easy enough to remember, managers tend to forget the importance of keeping both our communication and expectations simple.
Ask any HR manager and they will tell you that the majority of the issues they come up against within an organization stems from poor communication. The more a manager talks poorly to them, the less an employee will listen. If you want to be considered a great leader within your organization, try these five basics skills towards effective communication and leadership:
- Do unto others and treat your employees with the same courtesy and respect you demand for yourself.
- Praise and acknowledge your employees. Make sure your team knows you appreciate their hard work.
- Listen to them. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do. Listening to your employees is the best way to find out how to manage them more effectively.
- Coach and inspire your team. Every winning team will lose a game now and then, take it as an opportunity for improvement. According to the Coaching Institute, good coaching is about getting the best from your team and their abilities.
- Apologize often. We all make mistakes, be quick to admit yours.
Here are three other key factors to keep in mind if you want to set up your business for long term success:
1. Manage Strengths
Managing from strength rather than opportunity is optimal, because this allows all of your employees to do something that they are good at some of the time. While you may believe your employee should be in a particular role all of the time because of the results, that may not be a job they enjoy.
Therefore, applying your listening ear you discover this and allow them to do the job they enjoy from time to time. This keeps the employee engaged knowing that every so often they will be allowed to do a job they enjoy. Some of the most effective and useful products invented were results of failure, redirected by bosses who trusted their employees.
Silly Putty and Post It Notes.
Both of these products failed at their original intent, however both were redirected to become highly successful. Remember that what looks like failure may really be success disguised.
Every employee brings something to the table and it is worth it as a manager to try to discover what those strengths are. A good book on leadership and allowing your employees to find and work within their strengths is the book Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. This book examines what the strengths of your employees are and how to best utilize them.
It’s important for management to seek out their employees as partners in the endeavor of making the business work more effectively.
2. Communication is Both Verbal and Non-Verbal
Communication between a manager and subordinate takes place on two levels. One being the language in which the two parties speak to one another and the other is body language. Both are essential to the way in which the communication between the two parties is perceived. For example, if a manager must conduct a review that is negative if the manager’s arms are crossed or he is scowling the employee will be affected by this form of non-verbal communication no matter what the manager says or tries to say during the review process.
Body language from an employee is equally as important. For example if an employee gives such non verbal clues of boredom as smacking gum or twirling hair while their manager is trying to communicate with them this indicates that he does not care about what information the manager is trying to impart.
It is important for both parties to seek non-aggressive, interested body language when attempting to communicate.
3. Professionalism and Employee Management Relations
While it is wonderful to be friends with your boss or with your employee it is important to keep all communication between you on a professional level. Boundaries between work life and home life can be blurred when a manager and an employee meet after work for drinks or go on double dates. Such a blurring of the home versus work relationship can seep into the work relationship eroding the manager’s ability to effectively manage that employee. Again utilize the logic of KISS and keep your work and home lives separate.
In conclusion being a leader and a manager is less about being dictatorial and more about using your gifts and strengths wisely. Make a study of great leaders and what made them great spend time in reflection on how you can best use the lessons taught by their example. Ultimately being a leader is being a servant, to your employees, your clients and yourself.