3 tips to become a better leader

Oct 19, 2015 | Article

Being a manager is a process that involves spinning many plates and wearing many hats.

Being a manager is a process that involves spinning many plates and wearing many hats. You may have to go from preparing a proposal for an important product-development meeting to having to deal with personnel or other administrative paperwork and back again all within the span of a single day.

With all of the important tasks managers spend their days addressing, it can be easy to overlook the fact that managers are also de facto leaders and role models within their offices. Whether you spend time actively trying to rally your employees or prefer to maintain a respectable and professional distance, you're establishing norms even if you don't realize it. Every employee forms a relationship with his or her manager - your role is to make sure that that relationship is a positive one. Here are three tips to help you win a new "World's Best Boss" mug.

"You certainly can't adopt a one-size-fits-all management style."

1. Know your employees
It should go without saying, but if you want to foster a good relationship with your employees, you first have to know them. That's not to say that you need to be on a first-name basis with all of your staff members. Rather, you should seek to cultivate an understanding of the types of people you have working for you, and how generational differences can manifest in different ways.

This is particularly important because the workforce is in transition. Generation-Xers are heading toward retirement, while more millennials are coming in to fill their positions. This leaves many businesses in a situation where employees from different generations are interacting, which can require some delicate handling. You certainly can't adopt a one-size-fits-all management style in these cases.

For example, millennials value flexibility and autonomy much more than older employees, according to Forbes. At the same time, the tech-savvy that practically defines the younger generation isn't a given among workers in their 50s and 60s. These and other differences mean that you should approach new tasks, culture changes and even regular tasks taking the strengths and weaknesses of your workforce into account.

Millennials value independence and technology in the workplace.

2. Be honest
Parents raise their kids from Day 1 to be honest with those around them, so it makes sense that this is a desirable trait in leaders and managers. In a business setting, this means that you should be up-front with your employees without trying to gloss over any bad news. If your company needs to undergo some restructuring, or if you find yourself on the receiving end of some bad press, don't assume that you should try and protect your employees by failing to mention this. Chances are, they'll find out on their own anyway, and then they'll just learn to not trust you.

3. Be positive
Positivity is a key component of being a relatable, likeable manager. That doesn't mean that you need to always be bubbly and effervescent. Rather, it means that you shouldn't just interact directly with your staff to deliver bad news. Every employee has learned to feel dread when they receive communication from his or her boss - but that doesn't have to be the case. If you make a habit to personally recognize and applaud work well done or strong efforts, you'll instantly become more likeable to your employees.

This content brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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