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Little Daily Habits That Will Make You A Better Manager

Little Daily Habits That Will Make You A Better Manager

The mark of a good manager is always wanting to improve upon your management style. That means adopting little daily habits that will benefit your entire team. Here are a few of the top habits you can begin implementing today.

1. Say “Thank you” (and mean it)

As we rush through our lives, we often don’t really notice what people do for us. They may be colleagues, suppliers, or members of our team. But how often do we stop and say a heartfelt, sincere “Thank you” to those people?

Many organizations think that paying people is enough. Or that they get a bonus, so they’ll get their reward later. But think back to the last time someone said a proper “thank you” to you. Felt good, didn’t it? Especially if it was done right after the moment you did something they were pleased about, and they told you why they were pleased.

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Saying “thank you” costs you nothing other than a couple of minutes. But the impact goes way beyond the moment. You’ll make them feel good, you’ll feel good, and they will now know that you value what they do. Got to be worth it, hasn’t it?

2. Have a 5-minute chat with someone on the team

If you have a team, chat to one of them about what they do, how they do it, or what motivates them. Ask them if they’d like to ask you anything. Don’t be critical of any reply you get.

This will give you a lot of information about real progress, help you understand the mood of the team, and get to know what really motivates the people in your team. It may not be what you think.

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3. Delegate one task

Managers often try to do everything themselves. Your primary role is to guide the members of your team into learning how to do things themselves. If you don’t, that may explain why you always work late and miss deadlines.

Delegation means you have to train, inform, and support your team members — not just dump tasks on them.

4. Go home on time today

If you delegate, you can go home on time. Working late may seem like a way to show that you are committed and busy. But it doesn’t. Working late has been shown to increase your stress, along with making you less efficient and unpopular with your team. Unpopular? Yes, because committed people don’t like to go home before their boss. So, if you stay late, you are committing your team to stress, inefficiency, and resentment.

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So, close your laptop, say a cheery “goodnight” to your team, and go home.

5. Reread that important email (before you send it)

It’s too easy to dash off an angry or rushed email, and live to regret it afterwards. So, next time, write it, wait 5 minutes, reread it, correct it, and then send it.

Also, check the replies. Do you really need to reply all? Probably not.

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6. Share your goal

A team that has a clear goal works towards achieving that goal. You may have told your team what their goals were at your annual briefing, but it is unlikely they remember it now. If you want your team to focus their efforts towards achieving your goal, they need to be gently reminded of what it is.

You don’t have to make a big deal about it, but ask one person every day how the goal fits with what they’re doing.

7. Say “No” (nicely)

Don’t feel you have to bend over backwards in solving everyone’s problems for them. If you do, you will soon have a desk full of monkeys — problems your team has delegated to you!

If you say no just once a day, your team will learn that they should at least try and identify some possible solutions to the problem first.

8. Be courteous (take a deep breath)

Adopting the above daily habits will make your life easier. But, if you find yourself getting frustrated with someone or something, remember that politeness is way more effective than shouting. I know it, you know it. So, just do it.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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